Increased support for biotechnology is on the list of measures included in the Japanese government's latest job-creating effort aimed at reviving the nation's industrial competitiveness. The ¥500 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) package aims to generate 700,000 public- and private-sector jobs through supporting fast-growing industries such as biotechnology, medicine, and information sciences. The government plan, announced in June, addresses three main issues: aiding corporate reorganization, nurturing venture businesses, and promoting technological development in growth fields. Companies in such fields, particularly small businesses carrying out innovative research with potential for commercialization, will be awarded a total of ¥100 billion from this year's supplementary budget, the details of which will be announced in September. According to the plan, commercialization of biotechnology research will be promoted through improved links between industry and the academic community, as well as by merging biotechnology-related programs under different ministries, such as genome research, into a collective effort. The government's move is in line with its 10-year plan to expand Japan's biotechnology market (Nature Biotechnology 17, 320–321).
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Saegusa, A. A yen for biotech. Nat Biotechnol 17, 623 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/10803