Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
Allm, Bühler Group, Itochu Corporation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Panasonic, Pfizer, Roquette, Takenaka Corporation
Economic Development Board (EDB), Embassy of Japan, Enterprise Singapore, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
, Ministry of Trade and Industry
Industry Type(s)
Agri-tech, Circular Economy & Sustainability, Digital/ICT, Food Manufacturing, Healthcare & Biomedical
Opportunities and Support Opportunities to co-develop services and product, market expansion and investment with challenge statement owners
Application Start Date 15 February 2023
Application End Date 26 March 2023
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), co-organising with Singapore government agencies, hold the first "Singapore-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event" in Singapore as a part of "ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Fast Track Initiative" to accelerate global open innovation of Japanese companies and startups. 

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Challenge Owner(s)Bühler Group
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Circular Economy & Sustainability, Food Manufacturing

Creating a Circular Economy in the Agri-Food Value Chain

  • Challenge 1: How do we streamline and identify processes for food component extraction and direct nutrient recovery of high value ingredients?
  • Challenge 2: How do we create sustainable higher value ingredients for applications of insect-based products?
  • Challenge 3: How do we improve the quality, efficiency, cost and availability of bioprocessing technologies for fermentation and cellular agriculture (i.e cultivated meat) applications?
What We Are Looking For

  • Solution 1: Technologies that can extract valuable components from novel ingredients and by-products of agro-industrial food processes and upcycling the micro- and macro-nutrients from such ingredients through an applied process or technology into new food products such as alternative meat/dairy, savory/sweet snacks or others. Technologies to improve the quality (taste, nutrition) and cost of plant-based foods
  • Solution 2: Developing a modular and centralised solution to breeding and seedstock supply services for insect proteins. Novel applications for insect protein products and identifying suitable side streams and maintaining a steady supply of seed larvae.
  • Solution 3: Novel bioreactors and fermenters, technologies to Increase cell mass density, proliferation and harvesting, technologies to bring DSP to food industry-compatible costs, technologies for shaping, depositing,forming and scaffolding, improving strain development and cell-lines selection.

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Challenge Owner(s)Allm
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Healthcare & Biomedical

Expanding Point of Care Services for Better Health

Solutions that enable or support care/diagnosis by health service providers in lower level facilities. We are looking for technologies such as: point of care IoT sensor test devices, AI for diagnosis support, etc.

What We Are Looking For

Allm provides DtoD tele-medicine solution called Join. It enables hospitals to seek diagnosis or advice remotely from specialists and physicians inside/outside the hospital as well as from a different hospital, reducing the delay in diagnosis and treatment for patients. Working with national and local governments, it can create national and regional, even cross-border telemedicine network.

We seek solutions that enable or support point of care tests and diagnosis, which together with Join will enable testing and diagnosis at lower level health facilities, reducing disparities in healthcare.
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Challenge Owner(s)Itochu Corporation
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Healthcare & Biomedical

Co-creating a New Business in the Healthcare Industry in ASEAN

ITOCHU, a Japanese trading and investment firm has been engaged in healthcare business globally over 50 years, and recently has been paying more attention to the ASEAN market, where we believe it has a huge potential to become much larger as their economy has been growing rapidly. We have already started to penetrate into this market through investment in a startup of the digital health company in Singapore, and we keep looking for a potential business partner to co-create new values and business with us in ASEAN.

What We Are Looking For

ITOCHU seeks a potential partner who
  • provides service or platform supporting medical doctors in ASEAN market
  • provides service or platform for patients/consumers in ASEAN market
  • provides marketing service in the healthcare market in ASEAN

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Challenge Owner(s)Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Industry Types(s)Healthcare & Biomedical

Partnering to Accelerate Oncology Solutions

Worldwide, cancer cases and mortality are expected to increase significantly due to aging and increasing populations, with over half of new diagnoses already occurring in Asia. Thanks to scientific advances and new collaborations, there's reason for hope —and Johnson & Johnson is at the forefront of this crucial work. 

What We Are Looking For

To advance the next generation of innovations, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies) is seeking to partner with companies with scientific assets under development ((1 year to IND or later stage) in accelerating science and treatments to address hematologic malignancies, including B-cell malignancies, plasma cell malignancies, and myeloid malignancies, as well as solid tumours, such as prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer and colorectal cancer.

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Challenge Owner(s)Panasonic
Industry Types(s)
Healthcare & Biomedical, Hospitality

Physical Function Solutions for the Elderly 

Since Panasonic has more than 20 years of experience in the elderly care business, we have a renewed awareness of the importance of how to shorten the time in which people are in need of nursing care and how to prevent them from becoming eligible for such care. We are looking for a partner to promote advanced and unique solutions to improve and support physical activity and eating habits of the elderly.

What We Are Looking For

A startup that provides solutions to improve and support the physical functions and eating habits of the elderly.
  • Make it easier for people who have difficulty
    • walking (excluding automated driving)
    • eating (excluding liquid diets)
    • seeing
    • hearing
    • speaking
    • in excreting (e.g., leaking, not making it to the toilet in time, etc.).
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Challenge Owner(s)Pfizer
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Healthcare & Biomedical

Innovations for (1) Highly Infectious Diseases, (2) Rare Disease Interventions, and (3) Digital Assistant for Healthcare/Pharmaceutical Documents

Challenge 1 – Background & Rationale
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the importance of building more resilient health systems that are prepared for a wide variety of public health threats. Economies in Asia have demonstrated resilience and growth driven in large part by COVID-19 vaccination and treatment strategies; however, it is important to sustain investments in health—through prevention, treatment, and preparedness measures—to ensure healthy people and healthy economies.
Challenge 2 – Background & Rationale
Rare diseases remain largely underrepresented and underserved by healthcare systems around the world, especially in developing economies. In addition to limited disease awareness, other factors such as the lack of a thorough understanding of care outcome as well as the cost and burden to not just individual patients but society have led to under-diagnosis and mis-treatment.
Challenge 3 – Background & Rationale
The large volume and complexity of operational procedures, manuals and process documents in our purview require a deep understanding of the various structures, content, and use cases for each. Providing timely, detailed responses to colleague questions that arise, inclusive of appropriate referencing, is currently a very labour-intensive task.

What We Are Looking For

Challenge 1 - Problem Statement
How might we collaborate with healthcare professionals (public and private) and help the general public develop and sustain strong awareness of and immunity against highly infectious diseases (especially respiratory illnesses), and importantly, gain timely access to diagnosis and effective treatments?
Challenge 2 - Problem Statement
How might we apply the latest innovation to better monitor and measure the outcome of rare disease interventions; incorporate patient experience in value assessment; and support (public and private) healthcare payors’ reimbursement decisions?
Challenge 3 - Problem Statement
To partner with experts in AI/NLP who can build a digital assistant capable of answering questions on documents related to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Those responses would then refer back to the content location where that automated answer was found.

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Challenge Owner(s)Roquette
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Circular Economy & Sustainability, Food Manufacturing

Innovations for (1) Plant-Based Meat, (2) Low/Reduced/No Sugar Added Beverage Product, and (3) Reducing the Waste from Lab Practice/Process

Roquette is a family-owned global leader in plant-based ingredients, a pioneer of plant proteins and a leading provider of pharmaceutical excipients. Founded in 1933, the company currently operates in more than 100 countries, has a turnover of 3.9 billion euros, and employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.

Life and nature have been our sources of inspiration for decades. All our raw materials are of natural origin. From them, we enable a whole new plant protein cuisine; and we develop innovative ingredients for food, nutrition and health markets. We truly unlock the potential of nature to improve, cure and save lives.

Thanks to a constant drive for innovation and a long-term vision, we are committed to improving the well-being of people all over the world. We put sustainable development at the heart of our concerns, while taking care of resources and territories. We are determined to create a better and healthier future for all generations.

What We Are Looking For

Innovations for (1) plant-based meat, (2) low/reduced/no sugar added beverage product, and (3) reducing the waste from lab practice/process. 

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Challenge Owner(s)Takenaka Corporation
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Electronics, Healthcare & Biomedical

Health Promotion from the Built Environment

As a solution for an aging society with a declining birthrate, healthy communities are being created all over the world. In Japan and other developed countries, the increasing burden of social security costs on the working-age population due to the aging of society is a common social issue, and health is becoming a growing concern not only for individuals and companies, but also for national and local governments.

The WHO defines "physical health," "mental health," and "social health" as three indicators of health, and technological development for human health monitoring using sensing technology has been progressing. While there are many technologies for evaluating physical and mental health through sensing, such as step counts and heart rate variability, there are few technologies for evaluating social health.

Therefore, Takenaka is working on the sensing of human relationship and the communication behaviors in a building and/or a community as an indicator of social health. Furthermore, we would like to evaluate the impact on individual health by the social health improvement, and implement the technology in society. We would make the indicators or the monitoring methods developed by Takenaka will become the de facto standard for well-building design or well-urban design, and that the widespread use of these indicators and monitoring methods will attract ESG investment and contribute to the enhancement of real estate values in the future.

What We Are Looking For

  1. Systems that can sense relationships among building users, or sensing technologies that can be used for that purpose: We are exploring kinds of following technologies.
    • Technologies to estimate actions based on number of people, population density and moving directions of building users.
    • Technologies to estimate relationships based on the distance and direction between building users.
    • Technologies to estimate emotions based on facial expressions and/or other monitoring items, such as sounds of conversation etc.
  2. We have been attempting to evaluate interactions based on emotions estimated from facial expressions as a research project, but it is difficult to continuously evaluate dynamic objects. In addition, it is difficult to obtain data in a privacy-conscious manner and to output the data.