A journey from research to entrepreneurship

Thursday, November 30th 2023

16:21 – 16:21 (JST)

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Being a relatively new university (since 2011), OIST promotes entrepreneurship to advance high-growth venture creation in Okinawa, working with government, academia, and industry on a shared vision and strategy for R&D cluster development.

Okinawa Protein Tomography (OPT) is OIST’s first successful startup company, that offer single molecule imaging at the remarkable resolution of 1.5 nanomters, which steadily improves. Established on June 25, 2014, by Prof. Ulf Skoglund, OPT is successfully managed by Mr. Akira Kamei since then and accumulated 80 M JPY capital. Mr Kamei will be able to share his personal experience on how is it to pioneer in a start-up ecosystem.

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Lukasz is a scientist with a strong focus on research applicability. He would like to help the most brilliant inventions to change the world as soon as possible!

During his student times, Lukasz was one of the founders of Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable, where he helped with organizing events and consulting projects. It was then where he developed passion for grassroot organizations, which eventually led him to Innovation Forum.
His research career started at University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Biotechnology followed by a PhD in Biotechnology at Cambridge, UK. His biological experience oscillates around synthetic biology, omics studies and clean power generation.

His previous leadership projects include proof-of-concept work with biofuel distillery waste and a scientific expedition to lake Baikal, Siberia.

Mr. Kamei started his career in 1978 working for Toyo Engineering Corporation, where for 20 years he was responsible for IBM computer systems, plant computerization and creating and developing corporation network. Successfully managing key projects and the experience he gained became his core skills that proved to be invaluable in his future endeavors.

In 1988, he joined the Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of KYOTO (ASTEM), founded by Kyoto City, Kyoto University, and the industry, supporting the establishment of the Institute and later its management.
His experience with establishing research institute and translating the research into business resulted in invitation to establish ISIT in 1993, a similar enterprise founded by Fukuoka City and Kyushu University.

In 1994 with the beginning of internet, Mr. Kamei saw an opportunity to use the newest world development for business and played a crucial role in introducing and developing the network into Japan. This skill was noticed by Softbank, and after bringing Mr. Kamei onboard, Softbank nominated Mr. Kamei the CEO and COO of three venture companies under aegis of Softbank. The companies were developing then innovative platforms related to inter alia eLearning and eBook

Mr. Kamei has learned about OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) from a friend, and seeing a great potential in world class institute and opportunity for Japanese market in translating the technology into business, he decided to join OIST in establishing the first startup from the Institute, Okinawa Protein Tomography Ltd. (OKPT) in June 2014. The venture headed by him till this day has been successfully operating on the domestic market for past 4 years. As a next step Mr. Kamei is planning to take the technology to the world and make OKPT a global company.

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