About KBIC

The Future of KBIC

Realizing the Kobe Life Science Promotion Vision

The "Kobe Life Science Promotion Vision" was published in March 2007. It put forth strategies and measures to be taken for further development of KBIC for the next few decades.

Strategies for a Cluster Development in Kobe

Two directions were conceived by the "Kobe Life Science Promotion Vision." One was the formation of a "Medical Cluster," a concentration of highly specialized medical facilities around the renewed Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital that would reinforce Kobe's clinical capacities. The second path was to further the "Health-Conscious City" initiative promoting evidence-based public health with the support and participation by businesses, universities, and citizens.
Pursuing these paths becomes a force for gathering superior clinicians, researchers, research institutions and medical-related businesses that would help create a "Medical Innovation System"– a mechanism swiftly delivering the benefits of research to the public. Great effort will be put into establishing this system to realize three fundamental objectives of KBIC, revitalization of Kobe's economy, promotion of the health and welfare of Kobe's citizens, and contribution to the international society.

Provision of Advanced Medical Services (Formation of a "Medical Cluster")

In July 2011, the Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital was built (relocated) adjacent to the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation. With the general hospital as the core, the vision proposed the creation of a "Medical Cluster" that concentrate skilled medical doctors and medical institutions specialized in such fields as cancer treatment and regenerative medicine, and provide advanced medical services for patients in Japan and abroad.

formation of a -Medical Cluster

Support for the evidence-based health promotion ("Health-Conscious City" initiative)

"Health-Conscious City" initiative calls for efforts of local universities and companies to promote evidence-based health realization of the citizens in collaboration with local communities.

Examples of the evidence-based Health Promotion
“KOBE Trial” daily urban health-based cohort studies
A long-term epidemiologic study has been performed for the purpose of analyzing the relationship between lifestyle and health.
Briefing sessionBone density test (ultrasound)Gustatory test for salt
Briefing sessionBone density test (ultrasound)Gustatory test for salt

Medical Innovation System that accelerates creation of innovation within the cluster.

Medical Innovation System

The development of new medical technologies, pharmaceuticals and medical devices requires overcoming challenges arising between basic research and clinical application such as preclinical trials on animals, regulation hurdles and ethical considerations.
Furthermore, additional difficulties such as regulatory approval, health insurance coverage, cost-benefit considerations and funding must be grappled with before the commercialization of research results, and their application in treatment and prevention services at hospitals.
In order to overcome these challenges, the vision calls for researchers and clinicians to support and promote advancement in epidemiological studies in conjunction with the advanced medical service and the support for evidence health promotion.
Efforts would hopefully culminate to become a "Medical Innovation System," which would facilitate efficient feedback between "researchers' hypotheses" and "clinicians' needs." Prompt delivery of Kobe-based successful research outcomes would then be available to the public in the form of new treatments and prevention services.

Medical Innovation System

The Future of KBIC
Roadmap for Research and Technological Development

As part of the vision, a roadmap of progress has been created to assess the next five and ten years in the fields of research and technical development of cell and gene therapies, regenerative medicine, medical devices, and clinical research (clinical trials).

Cell and Gene Therapies/Regenerative Medicine
5 years
  • Clinical application of skin, bone, cartilage, cornea and vessel regeneration at highly specialized hospitals (as advanced medical cares)
10 years
  • Expansion of regenerative medicine into cardiac muscle, nerves and islets of langerhans for treatment at highly advanced hospitals (as advanced medical cares)
  • Culturing of blood (red cells) and platelets from cord blood and adipocytes
Medical Devices10 years
  • Development of new therapeutic instruments and devices with low somatic loads for patients using imaging technologies
  • Establishment of mechanisms to support clinical trials and commercialization of foreign products in Japan.
Support for Clinical Research and Trials10 years
  • Establishment of a clinical trial network involving clinicians, patient groups, volunteers, and corporate funds.
  • Creation of and support for drug discovery venture companies utilizing molecular imaging technologies and new clinical trial facilities
  • In silico bio-simulation and establishment of biological models