February 2, 2021
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held meetings of the Bio-Industry Subcommittee of the Commerce, Distribution and Information Committee under the Industrial Structure Council (hereinafter referred to as the “subcommittee”) and, through these meetings, prioritized measures that METI should undertake in the future to further improve the competitiveness of the bio-industry in Japan.
1. Background and purpose
Backed by recent advancement of biotechnology as seen in enhanced acceleration and cost reduction of genome-decoding, technological innovations involving genome-editing technology, and integration of biotechnology and AI or other digital technology, a “bioeconomy” is considered to be arriving worldwide, creating a society in which biotechnology bolsters a wide range of industrial infrastructures. In view of this, the government of Japan has upheld its goal of realizing the world’s most advanced bioeconomy by 2030.
As a pillar that will support various industries and lead this next-generation economy, the bio-industry is anticipated to play an important role in such fields as healthcare and medical care, the environment and energy, raw materials and materials and food.
As a result of five meetings held by the subcommittee from September 2020, METI prioritized measures that it should undertake in the future to further improve the competitiveness of the bio-industry in Japan.
The subcommittee’s report presents six categories of challenges in improving the competitiveness of the bio-industry: [i] improvement of productivity and efficiency taking advantage of introducing robots and automation; [ii] formulation of a global bio-community; [iii] fostering of expert human resources in biotechnology that are necessary for the development of the bio-industry; [iv] specific research and development on which METI should focus in the future; [v] enhancement of competitiveness of contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO) and contract manufacturing organizations (CMO) in the pharmaceutical industry; and [vi] efforts for disseminating biological products. The report then clearly explains the future directions of specific efforts to address these challenges.
METI will deploy measures based on the priorities in the report.
Division in Charge
Bio-Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group