Israel-Japan Conference“The differences between Japanese and Israeli culture provide a fertile ground for a one-of-a-kind collaboration”
“The differences between Japanese and Israeli culture provide a fertile ground for a one-of-a-kind collaboration”
From remote monitoring solutions for senior residents at nursing homes to AI-based robots to alleviate loneliness. Dr. Leor Perl, Chief Innovation Officer at Israel's Beilinson Hospital, discussed investment and innovation in medicine and what Israeli-Japanese cooperation could look like with a panel of Israeli and Japanese experts at Calcalist’s Israel-Japan conference in Tokyo
Innovation, investment, and the challenges in the Japanese and Israeli healthcare systems were at the center of a panel with the participation of Dr. Leor Perl, Chief Innovation Officer at Beilinson Hospital held during Calcalist’s Israel-Japan conference in Tokyo. Together with Dr. Perl, Dov Moran, founder of venture capital firm Grove Ventures, David Heller, Managing Partner at VC firm Vertex Ventures, and Prof. Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Director of the innovation lab at Tohoku University Hospital in Sendai, Japan.
From creative solutions to address the problem of the elderly population in Japan, through the cultural differences between the nations to mutual investments, the panel dealt with the challenges and opportunities of cooperation between Japan and Israel.
"It is precisely the differences between Japanese and Israeli culture that constitute particularly fertile ground for a one-of-a-kind collaboration. The creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that the Israelis bring with them, along with the Japanese's ability for order and careful planning, are a union of contrasts that may produce magnificent innovation," said Dr. Leor Perl, Chief Innovation Officer at Beilinson Hospital.
Dr. Perl went on to say: "We Israelis are excellent at starting projects, but not always at finishing them. We are good at creativity, entrepreneurship and working on the go, but the truth is that we are lacking in other areas that the Japanese excel at. The Japanese know how to finish projects, they are excellent at complex engineering, production and development and they have an outstanding industry and the tools and experience to realize a vision, things that are sometimes lacking in Israel."
Prof. Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Director of the innovation lab at Tohoku University Hospital in Sendai, Japan, agreed with Dr. Perl's words and said: "There is a lot of room for our nations to learn from each other in the field of innovation in medicine. Caring for Japan's aging population is one of the biggest challenges that Japanese citizens face. I see how buds of the collaboration with Beilinson Hospital could be part of the answer to this challenge. I believe that a synergy based on the strengths of each side will greatly contribute to the development of medical innovation in both countries and hence also to the rest of the world."
"The challenge in Israeli-Japanese cooperation will be to understand the cultural differences and use these differences to strengthen the spirit of innovation," said David Heller, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures. "In terms of an approach to innovation, what characterizes the Israelis is the understanding that mistakes are part of the path to innovation, something that the younger generation in Japan also embraces. Mistakes are an integral part of the process."
Later in the panel, mutual investments between Israel and Japan were discussed. One of the successful examples from recent years is the case of Itamar Medical in the field of cardiology, preventive medicine and internal medicine. Israeli company Echo-Care, a provider of senior-care remote monitoring systems, was also discussed. "The basis of every good investment idea is an understanding of a real need that exists, finding a good idea and accurately identifying the people who will make up the team," said Dov Moran.
Dr. Perl summarized the discussion and said: "I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with Prof. Atsuhiro, who is actually my counterpart in Japan. I am convinced that the cooperation between Japan and Israel in the field of medical innovation will continue to progress. When Israeli creativity and entrepreneurship join the precision and advanced technology of Japan, the sky's the limit."