2021 年 2021 巻 36 号 p. 1-19
The medical device industry is expected to continue growing in the Japanese domestic and global market. Therefore, many local governments and industrial promotion organizations in Japan are supporting manufactures from other industries entering the field of medical devices proactively.
In 2005 Fukushima Prefectural Government launched the so-called “Fukushima Next-Generation Medical Industry Cluster Project” through industry-academia-government collaboration as the next stage of a project to develop innovative medical devices at Nihon University’s College of Engineering which started in 2000. The aim of the project was to create the first medical devices industry cluster in Japan. The key players in this cluster are local SMEs that want to launch a business in a new field. During the project there have been many hardships like the 2008 financial crisis, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Fukushima Prefecture has accelerated the activities within this cluster as a core pillar of industrial recovery in Fukushima.
In this research paper, I researched the activities for creating the Fukushima Medical Devices Industry Cluster retrospectively, and I described the process of government initiatives supporting SMEs to enter the field of medical devices. Secondly, I clarified the current situation of those SMEs and companies that expanded into Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the following nuclear accident. Moreover, I did a case study analysis of those SMEs, and examined whether our support measures were effective or not. Finally, I described the future trends of the Fukushima Medical Devices Industry Cluster.