International life sciences partnership to grow links between the Tees Valley and Japan

Published on 13/04/2021
International life sciences partnership to grow links between the Tees Valley and Japan A partnership between the National Horizons Centre and a Japanese health innovation park is helping to cement the reputation of the Tees Valley as a global hub for life sciences.
Representatives from the National Horizons and Shonan Health Innovation Park (Shonan iPark) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which commits the two organisations to a relationship which will develop their shared goals of delivering innovation in bioscience.
The National Horizons Centre is a £22.3 million national centre of excellence for the bioscience sector run by Teesside University at its Darlington Central Park campus and offers a state-of-the art facility for research, training and collaboration to grow the capacity of the UK’s life bioindustry.
Shonan iPark also brings together industry, academia and the public sector into a collaborative ecosystem to transform cutting edge research into impactful health solutions. The Shonan iPark, operated by a partnership under Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Mitsubishi Corp.-UBS Realty Inc. with the support from Mitsubishi Corporation, is based in the Shonan region of the Kanagawa prefecture in the centre of Japan.
The collaboration between the National Horizons Centre and Shonan iPark builds upon the Northern Bio-accelerator Partnership between the National Horizons Centre, CPI and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies which is working to create a North East bioprocessing, biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical hub and will position the region as a centre of innovation.
The Memorandum of Understanding identifies several areas for potential collaboration between the National Horizons Centre and Shonan iPark, including:
  • Bespoke training and development opportunities.
  • Identification of research challenges and knowledge exchange.
  • Academic seminars and networking between the two organisations. 

Dr Jen Vanderhoven, Director of the National Horizons Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Shonan iPark.
“Our two organisations are both working to create vibrant, collaborative ecosystems and bridge the gap between academic research and industry practice.
“Therefore, it is fantastic that we can harness our shared values to create a link between the Tees Valley and Japan and find new way to develop and deliver innovations in biosciences and healthcare.”
Dr Toshio Fujimoto, General Manager of Shonan iPark, said: “I believe this partnership between the two science-based innovation centres will enable further sharing of knowledge and collaboration opportunities for researchers at both sites. It will be a privilege if together this agreement paves the way for bringing innovation communities in the UK and Japan closer.”
For more information on the National Horizons Centre visit

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