Jump to Navigation Jump to search Jump to Content Jump to Footer

Dialogue on Open Innovation: Japanese and German strategies at the Japan Business Day 2024

© NRW.Global Business/Jan Tepass

At the Japan Business Day on Monday, 27 May 2024, companies from Japan and North Rhine-Westphalia will present their approaches to the topic "German and Japanese Open Innovation Strategies for a Better Future" and discuss collaborative innovation processes with experts. The state's foreign trade and inward investment agency NRW.Global Business is organizing the German-Japanese Business Conference with the support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and in close cooperation with the state capital Düsseldorf, the Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce Düsseldorf, the Japanese Consulate General Düsseldorf, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Düsseldorf Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the German-Japanese Business Association.

Host Felix Neugart, CEO of NRW.Global Business, will open the event together with Paul Höller, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Japanese Consul General Setsuko Kawahara, Christian Zaum, Deputy Mayor of the State Capital Düsseldorf, and Akira Sato, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Felix Neugart, CEO of NRW.Global Business: "North Rhine-Westphalia has become an important R&D location for the Japanese economy outside of Japan. Many of the 650 Japanese companies in North Rhine-Westphalia already cooperate with universities and research institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia. This year's Japan Business Day provides an important platform for dialogue to expand the cooperation and the innovation potential of German and Japanese companies.

Paul Höller, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: "In Japan and North Rhine-Westphalia, we are focusing on the ideas and products of our highly innovative companies for climate-neutral and digital transformation. It therefore makes sense to open up innovation processes to external partners in order to develop forward-looking solutions even faster and more effectively. As the most important event for the Japanese business community in North Rhine-Westphalia, this year's Japan Business Day will focus on open innovation in practice and also highlight the business benefits of strategic collaboration in innovation management. The state government is actively promoting open innovation in NRW's SME sector, for example through industry-related clusters and networks as well as targeted innovation competitions."

Christian Zaum, Head of Economic Affairs of the state capital Düsseldorf: "Open innovation helps companies to act faster and more flexibly in the market, especially in uncertain and volatile times. I am particularly pleased to see the success of Düsseldorf companies in this area and the important role played by German-Japanese cooperation in Düsseldorf.

Setsuko Kawahara, Japanese Consul General in Düsseldorf: "The key to open innovation lies in the diversity of ideas. Extensive cooperation between different players is essential. Also beyond national borders. Germany and Japan are facing very similar challenges. It is therefore essential that both states combine their strengths in order to overcome them together."

Akira Sato, President of the Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düsseldorf: "I am convinced that here in North Rhine-Westphalia, the city of Düsseldorf and the German-Japanese companies based here have the will and the expertise to meet the challenges of open innovation. With the resulting innovative power, they will create value and prosperity and keep the economy moving."

For both Japanese and German companies, the focus has shifted to managing the growing pressure to innovate in an ever-changing world. Technological advances, increased demands for sustainability, and shorter product lifecycles present ongoing challenges as well as opportunities for growth and collaboration. By opening up their innovation processes to external ideas, technologies and know-how, companies not only secure competitive advantages, but also contribute to a progressive, sustainable economy with innovative solutions. The aim of the exchanges taking place at the Japan Business Day is to combine the traditional strengths and innovative capabilities of both countries, compare strategies and identify opportunities for cooperation.

The event will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Ingo Ballschmieter, Professor of General Business Administration at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences and an expert in innovation management. Susumu Kataoka, President of JETRO, will kick off the event with his keynote speech on "Open Innovation – New Cooperation Opportunities for German and Japanese Companies", and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eike Permin from the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences will speak on "How Companies Implement Innovations in Networks – Open Innovation in Practice".

Reports on the experiences of international companies in North Rhine-Westphalia from Asahi Kasei, Gerresheimer, Shimadzu, Toshiba, Ubisoft and Vodafone will round off the program. The subsequent panel discussion will focus on the exchange of information about the respective strategies and possible cooperative ventures.

Event details:

Japan Business Day 2024 
Date: May 27, 2024, 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Hotel KÖ59, Königsallee 59, Düsseldorf.

Background information:

Since 2002, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state capital Düsseldorf and the Japanese community in Düsseldorf have been organizing the Japan Business Day together with partners as an integral part of the traditional Japan Day in Düsseldorf.

The roles of the organizers have been reassigned this year. NRW.Global Business, the foreign trade and inward investment agency of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, will be the overall organizer of the Japan Business Day. The state capital Düsseldorf will be the organizer of the Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW – Culture and Encounter Festival. Both events will continue to be supported by the Japanese community and its institutions – the Consulate General of Japan in Düsseldorf, the Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düsseldorf, the Japanese Club Düsseldorf, the German-Japanese Business Association and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).


  • NRW.Global Business GmbH

Event partners:

  • Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • State capital Düsseldorf
  • Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düsseldorf

Supported by:

  • Japanese Consulate General Düsseldorf
  • Düsseldorf Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
  • Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
  • German-Japanese Business Association (DJW)

Exhibition partners 2024: 


  • Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.


  • Daikin Chemical Europe GmbH
  • Dr. Ganteführer, Marquardt & Partner mbB
  • Enobyte GmbH
  • Fieldfisher Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
  • Mitsui Chemicals Europe GmbH
  • MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V. Germany Branch
  • Nippon Gases Deutschland GmbH
  • Nishimura & Asahi Europe Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
  • SCSK Europe Ltd.