2020 Volume 19 Issue 3 Pages 81-96
Large-scale university–industry collaborations that are worth some 10 billion yen and run for 10 years have begun to appear in Japan since the mid-2010s. This paper focuses on the drug development project being conducted by Chugai Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd. and Osaka University, which is a pioneering case of this kind of collaboration, and explores the background of how this project came to be. For the companies involved in university–industry collaborations, the most important point for consideration is generally whether or not they will achieve results (from the university’s contributions) that are sufficient to justify their investment. For Chugai Pharmaceutical, the deciding factor in making its 10-billion-yen investment was that Osaka University had been selected for the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and had built up research capabilities to make a sufficient contribution to Chugai. In that sense, we could say that this collaboration came into being because of the government’s support in building the innovation base and because of switching over from government sponsorship to corporate sponsorship after the operation of the base was on track. This so-called government-support-based, large-scale university–industry collaboration is a potential role model for university–industry collaborations in the future.
ABAS is supported by Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.