Outcomes of the EU Japan Regional Cooperation Annual Conference and Matchmaking

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 02 June 2021

The EU–Japan Regional Cooperation Annual Conference and Matchmaking was held on 17–18 May on the theme of the ‘Future of the EU–Japan Regional Cooperation’, with 136 participants from Europe and Japan, including 7 prefectures and 2 cities in Japan, 6 regions and 1 city in Europe, and 11 clusters from Japan and Europe.

This event was organised by the EU–Japan Regional Cooperation Helpdesk (CEEJA and CLAIR) and the EU–Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (DG GROW and METI), in cooperation with the ECCP.

The first session was devoted to EU–Japan Regional Cooperation Policies, and highlighted the strategies of two Japanese prefectures (Aichi Prefecture and the Osaka Prefecture – Bio Headquarters) and two European regions (Kosice Region, Slovakia and the Grand Est Region, France). These presentations were introduced by a global overview from JETRO Tokyo.

A second session on ‘Trends of EU–Japan Regional Cooperation’ highlighted new developments from the Ibaraki and Gifu Prefectures, the City of Sendai, the Energy Agency of the State of North Rhine Westphalia in Germany, and two clusters in France (Alpha RLH, focused on photonics, and Vitagora, focused on agri-food innovation with offices in Japan).

A panel discussion on best practices, challenges, and opportunities regarding digital transformation and the green transition closed the conference.

The matchmaking event on 18 May was introduced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and involved a pitch session with 6 speakers from Europe and Japan. 19 meetings were organised with European and Japanese clusters, Japanese prefectures, and European regions, with the objective of accelerating cooperation between these actors.

The presentations and a recording of the conference will soon be available on the EJRC website, here.

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