Industry-Academia Collaboration Projects

※Collaborative Research Laboratory

Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization Medical Innovation Center
Expired projects
AK Project: Center for Innovation in Immunoregulative Technology and Therapeutics CK Project: Innovative Techno-Hub for Integrated Medical Bio-Imaging
TMK Project: Laboratory for Kidney Research DSK Project: Laboratory for Malignancy Control Research

Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization

Opened in April 2002, the Office addresses the issue of how research achievements can be best returned for the benefit of society. This aim can be said to be one of the three major objectives of national universities; the first two being the education and the research itself. Excavating the seeds of innovation born within the medical field (centering around the Graduate School of Medicine) the office contributes to the development of improved healthcare by matching the university seeds with the market and industrial needs for collaborations. The KUMBL Office consists of the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine and the Incubation Plaza. The objective of the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine is to promote further advances in the development of medical treatment and technology. It bridges the faculties in the medical field with industry through compiling university research and knowledge and emitting them to the outside. The office engages itself in many other technology transfer activities such as gathering information on ongoing research and projects, and assisting university researchers with patent applications, licensing and collaboration. Also providing support for contract negotiation and setting up of the start-up business, the Business Liaison Office of Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine functions as a one-stop shop for university-academia collaboration for the medical field. The Incubation Plaza is a committee (Incubation Program Committee) consisting of Kyoto University, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Sumitomo Corporation that aims to put advances in medical research into practical applications within society. The plaza creates start-up business by selecting the researches, which holds promising business potential and investing the funding from Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Corporation into them. Through collaboration with the new start-up, it further promotes the establishment of future university spinouts and advances in further research.
To KyotoUniversity Medical Science and Business Liaison Office Website:

Medical Innovation Center

To:Medical Innovation Center Website

AK Project: Center for Innovation in Immunoregulative Technology and Therapeutics

The morbidity of patients with the allergic diseases is now reaching almost one third of the total Japanese population. It has also been reported that more than 200 million people suffered from these diseases in the advanced nations. Further, several kinds of cancer still have high mortality rates and there are many patients suffering from intractable immunological diseases including autoimmune diseases. It is evident that establishment of safe immunoregulation technologies is required for the development of organ transplantation and regenerative medicine, which are expected to be medical cures of the next generation. Some of the critical processes for the drug development in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry still remain at a bottleneck, including discovery and identification of the novel target molecule for the drug discovery, rational drug design and synthesis, compound conversion technology, validation procedures for drug candidates in medical applications, technology to evaluate the advantages of biological drugs, and efficient translational research. In order to overcome these fundamental issues and discover new drugs to cure above severe diseases, the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University is starting to develop innovative “immunoregulative drugs and technologies” by co-researching with one of the biggest Japanese pharmaceutical companies Astellas Pharma Inc. Kyoto University and Astellas will work jointly to achieve the break-through innovations in drug discovery system and innovative drugs of the next generation.

This innovation center has been adopted to the program, “Formation of Innovation Center for Fusion of Advanced Technologies,” funded by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST) under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
To:Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization Website

CK Project: Innovative Techno-Hub for Integrated Medical Bio-Imaging

Kyoto University/Canon Joint Research Project (CK Project) is a joint project between Kyoto University and Canon for promoting close industry-academia collaboration to foster researchers and technicians who can effectively work in the integrated medical engineering fields and achieve advanced interdisciplinary innovations especially in the fields of diagnostic imaging technology for early detection and prevention of diseases in order to create a healthy society.

It has been adopted under the name “Innovative Techno-hub for Integrated Medical Bio-imaging” as part of the “Creation of innovation centers for advanced interdisciplinary research areas program” supported by the MEXT Budget for the Promotion of Science and Technology. Its purpose is to support industry-academia collaborative research and development in the field of interdisciplinary medicine and engineering. To produce advanced technologies that can lead to creation of new industries over the long-term, the project is carried out on a 10-year plan from basic research to commercial applications.

Many teaching staff members of the departments in the School of Human Health Science have been involved in the CK Project since the time of its foundation. Especially, MRI and ultrasound laboratories in the basement operate as the research center in Yoshida Campus and have played active roles in important challenges, such as the development of next-generation diagnostic ultrasound imaging devices, advanced diagnostic imaging support systems, and other original elemental technologies. As a result, the CK Project was selected as one of the four projects in Japan to continue its research after the review on the third year, so as to further proceed with research and development.

In addition to pursuing research results, the CK Project is also expected to facilitate organizational reforms and system reforms concerning education and research at Kyoto University. With regard to education, Advanced Medicine Engineering Research Unit was established (in 2007) as a multi-faculty organization for fostering multilingual experts in engineering, medicine and informatics. Furthermore, the Graduate School of Engineering’s integrated biomedical engineering course (2008) and the Graduate School of Medicine’s medical engineering informatics joint course (2008) were established in addition to the existing curriculum for the teaching staff of the Graduate Schools of Engineering, Medicine, and Informatics to jointly foster talent in multi-disciplinary medical engineering fields.
As an effort to improve the research and development environment, we have begun preparations to establish a clinical research center in the hospital district to perform the clinical research and feedback concerning the innovative diagnostic imaging devices and molecular probes developed in the course of the CK Project, as well as an integrated medical engineering education and research center in the Kyoto University campus as a world-class research base with the capacity to give ORT (On-the-Research Training). Along with the clinical research centers described above, it will give Kyoto University a world-class education and research center in integrated medical engineering. In 2008, the project proposed by Kyoto University to create innovative devices for diagnosis and treatment through imaging technologies was adopted as an advanced medical development zone (Special Zone). This zone focuses on studies concerning the use of optical imaging devices under development in the CK Project. Use of this zone is expected to speed up and improve the CK Project activities.

Executive project manager:
  • Hiroshi Matsumoto (President of Kyoto University)
  • Chief executive officer: Shinzaburo Ito (Graduate School of Engineering)
  • Group leader: Nagahisa Yoshimura (Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Retinal imaging: Nagahisa Yoshimura (Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Ultrasound and photoacoustic Imaging: Tsuyoshi Shiina (Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Atomic magnetic sensing: Tetsuya Matsuda (Graduate School of Informatics)
  • Diagnostic imaging support system: Kaori Togashi (Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Molecular probe: Teruyuki Kondo (Advanced Biomedical Engineering Research Unit)
  • Bioimaging device: Osamu Tabata (Graduate School of Engineering)
  • Translational research: Akira Shimizu (Graduate School of Medicine)
CK Project website

TMK Project: Laboratory for Kidney Research

Our research teams are focusing on the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the discovery of the therapeutic approaches towards CKD. Due to limited understanding of its pathophysiology, the current medication globally available does not always give enough satisfaction to patient with CKD, which fails to attenuate the increase in the number of patients with end-stage renal disease. Knowing the precise biochemical and molecular mechanism(s) underlying the pathogenesis of CKD enables us to find appropriate therapeutic approaches. Thus, our research purpose and goal are to figure out how CKD starts and progresses, and to find out the way(s) to counteract or reverse the progression. To reach this goal, integrated collaboration with pharmaceutical industry is in progress upon a five-year credit.
  • Project Leader:Professor Motoko YANAGITA, MD.Ph.D. Graduate School of Medicine
  • Sub-leader:Toshiaki AKIRA, Ph.D, Professor specially appointed by Graduate School of Medicine.
  • Industrial Partner: Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Kyoto University
  • Duration: 5 years (with review at 3 years)
  • Basic agreement on institution-level collaborative R&D signed March 11, 2011

DSK Project: Laboratory for Malignancy Control Research

Cancer is probably inevitable in organisms that have flexible mechanisms in regulating development, growth, and tissue repair. Malignant behaviors of cancer cells, however, must be controllable. In this project, we focus on several promising areas of cancer research (e.g., angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, hypoxia-response, epigenetics, alternative splicing, and bioinformatics) to elucidate the essential features and molecular bases of malignant phenotypes associated with cancer cells. Our aim is to make the best use of such knowledge as rapidly as possible in the clinic.
  • Project Leader:Prof. Makoto Noda, Graduate School of Medicine
  • Laboratory Chief:Prof. Hiroshi Hiai, Graduate School of Medicine
  • Industrial Partner: Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd.
  • Term: April 2011 – March 2016
To:DSK Project: Laboratory for Malignancy Control Research Website