Research studio powered by SPARK




"What is business? "How do I implement my research to a practical application? Are you wondering?

In the U.S., ventures are positioned as a means of overcoming the so-called valley of death in R&D, and startups are considered to be a means of accelerating development. In Japan as well, once the core research data is obtained, early start-ups are used to accelerate development by introducing funds from venture capital. Currently, in the field of drug discovery, about 70% of new drugs come from academia and bio-ventures.

As part of its efforts to build an innovation ecosystem in the medical field, the University of Tsukuba is collaborating with Stanford University's SPARK and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), both of which are making advanced efforts in this field, to launch the "Research Studio", an acceleration program to launch businesses based on research results, which is held every year.
The results of your research can be used to benefit patients and society in different ways. However, discussions with professionals with different expertise and the knowledge and advice of many mentors can change the direction of your research and help you make great strides.

Why don't you build a team and start up your own business?

Would you like to build a team and start up your own business?




Mentoring by top leaders in Japan and abroad

A number of mentors with a wealth of experience in everything from clinical development to business models, including overseas business, will be appointed to thoroughly discuss the elements of product and business development through group work.
In addition, each team will be accompanied by a clinician as a tutor to provide support.


Collaboration with cutting-edge overseas programs

In addition to providing Global Pitch opportunities, we also support the formation of an international network with a view to overseas expansion in cooperation with Stanford University, SPARK and UCSD.


Develop a target product profile (TPP) and build a business model

Through Boot Camp, group work, and mentoring, participants will learn development/intellectual property strategies, business models, etc. necessary for entrepreneurs, and build a practical plan for a brushed-up TPP and exit strategy.


University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Clinical Research & Development Organization
Collaboration with: Keio University, Osaka University, Kyoto University, Kyusyu University, Okayama University

  • 筑波大学
  • 慶応義塾大学
  • 京都大学
  • 大阪大学
  • 岡山大学
  • 九州大学

What is SPARK?

  Translational research“ refers to research activities that link the results of basic medical research to clinical development and to the development of pharmaceuticals and other medical-related products. SPARK is a unique partnership between university and industry founded by Professor Daria Mochly-Rosen in 2006 at Stanford University in USA. The purpose is to provide the education and mentorship necessary to advance research discoveries from the bench to the bedside. SPARK provides access to specialized knowledge and technical expertise regarding drug and diagnostic development and sources of funding to support translational efforts. SPARK offers a range of support for translational efforts, including expertise in drug and diagnostic development.
Currently, more than 40 research institutions worldwide operate their own SPARK programs with the support of the Stanford SPARK Program. Since the 2015 launch of SPARK Global, SPARK partners have launched 25 startups, received $30 million in funding, achieved 10 awards, and initiated 25 clinical trials.
In Japan, many universities share its philosophy and are developing businesses that incorporate its methodology. The University of Tsukuba has been proactively implementing a training program as Research Studio powered by SPARK since 2018, and its students are achieving certain results such as accelerating non-clinical trials to establish companies, raise funds, and start clinical trials.
※SPARK Global(URL:


Research Studio is a year-round program. Information session on the Research Studio program will be held in April and May at each site, then followed by Boot Camps at Tsukuba University and Osaka University. At the Boot Camp, participants will learn the entrepreneurial strategies which is necessary for medical entrepreneurs and the TPP/Value Proposition which is the main axis of development and business strategies, through lectures and group work. After that, the participants will apply for the Selected Team Program and five teams will be selected. The selected teams will build target product profiles and business models hands-on through a total of 10 sessions of mentoring, group work, and special lectures. A pitch session in English will be held at the mid-term and at the end of the program, and the mentors will be specialists in various fields from clinical development to business development from inside and outside the university. Mentors from overseas, including the University of California, San Diego and Stanford University, will be invited to the pitch session to provide advice with a view to overseas expansion.