Agreement Focuses on Economic Development Opportunities Between Maryland and Japan
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Japan’s Kanagawa Science Park business incubator will become the latest partner of Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative, a first-of-its-kind program that offers international businesses a soft landing by connecting them with local accelerators and incubators. Kanagawa Science Park becomes the second partner to join the initiative during Governor Hogan’s economic development mission to Asia following the addition of the Korean Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups Agency, or KOTRA, last week.
“We understand that one of the biggest barriers to Japanese companies looking to enter the U.S. market is the time and cost of setting up an office and hiring staff without really knowing if that’s the right market for them,” said Governor Hogan. “So in Maryland, we’ve made it easy—taking away both the expense and the risk by letting these companies explore Maryland on a trial basis. When we launched this, we were very interested in identifying an elite Japanese partner, and we are thrilled that Kanagawa Science Park has taken the leap to join this initiative.”
As a Global Gateway partner, Kanagawa Science Park will work to promote Maryland as an investment destination for Japanese companies interested in the U.S. market. Earlier this year, the governor announced an initial investment of $2 million for the initiative, which currently includes the participation of more than 20 Maryland accelerators and incubators.
Established in 1986 and designed as a place for research & development-oriented companies to start, grow, gather, and interact, Kanagawa Science Park is now home to 117 companies employing approximately 3,700 people. It is located about 20 minutes from central Tokyo in the Kanagawa Prefecture, which is a home to many leading manufacturing and research & development businesses in Japan.
“This is a truly remarkable opportunity for innovative companies in our region to expand their business globally,” said KSP Inc. President Kiichi Kubota. “We wish to become a connecting bridge to this global ecosystem for startup companies in collaboration with Maryland, and continue to lead the creation of innovative industries that will change the future of the global market.”
Through its investments, business school, and business services, Kanagawa Science Park supports Japan’s new industry model by investing with its original fund and business school, as well as business matching services. It also fosters the creation of startup businesses that aim to become Japan’s next industry leaders.
On average, more than $4 billion in commercial transactions take place annually between Maryland and Japan. Japan is one of Maryland’s top international trading partner.
Today’s announcement builds on decades of collaboration between Maryland and Kanagawa, including a Sister State relationship that has been in place for more than 40 years. Additionally, in 2019, Governor Hogan was joined by Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa to renew and expand a memorandum of understanding focused on biotech and the life sciences.