Asahi Kasei Pharma “Open Innovation” initiative

  • What are the benefits of applying for Asahi Kasei Pharma’s (AKP’s) “Open Innovation”?
    AKP’s drug development researchers will join the discussion on the execution of your proposal, and collaborate with you to implement the research. We can help you to promote drug development research by incorporating the view point of industry.

Types of research

  • For “Research under MTA”-type projects, do you provide in vitro profiling data, ADMET data and so on about the compounds?
    As far as possible, we provide you the data which is necessary to promote project your proposed, e.g., in vitro activity data against target molecule, in vitro profiling data of compounds, ADME data, and so on.
  • For “Research under MTA”-type projects, what kind of contract is concluded for pursuing the research work?
    A material transfer agreement (MTA) is concluded.
  • With a “research under MTA”-type project, who owns the rights of newly obtained research findings?
    There are two possible scenarios. In the first one, AKP purchases rights of the findings from the partner; in the second case AKP makes a joint patent application with the partner. The details in each specific situation are discussed together with the partner.


  • Where can I get the documents to make an application?
    The application documents can be downloaded from the “Application requirements” page of this web site.
  • Can one person make multiple applications?
    Yes. If the research proposals are different, a researcher can make two or more applications.
  • Do applications have to be made in English?
    Yes. Applications can be made in English.
  • Can I include figures and tables in the application form?
    Yes, no problem. Please include figures and tables in the application document format (MS Word file). Note that if you submit a separate file, it must be a PDF file. Note also that no more than two separate files (three files including the application document) can be submitted.
  • I want to include confidential information in my application. Is that OK?
    Please do not include any confidential information, like an intellectual property information that you intend to include in a patent application in future.
  • Is there a limit on the amount of text or the file size of application documents?
    There is no limit on the number of words. You can modify the size of the space for each question by using page breaks or returns, as necessary. As a general rule, please limit the size of each file to 2 MB.
  • Is it OK to apply with a research topic that I have already used in a research proposal submission to another company?
    Yes, it’s OK. However, if your proposal is selected to receive a grant or research funding from a public sector or private sector sponsor, AKP may decide to disregard your proposal on the same topic. If joint research is being conducted together with another company, we will not select the proposal.
  • Can researchers working at a bio-tech company or a start-up make an application?
    Yes, they can.


  • Who decides which applications are selected?
    Selection is conducted by a small group of Asahi Kasei Pharma researchers specializing in drug development work.
  • What are the criteria for selection of applications?
    The proposals are selected based on a comprehensive evaluation of conformity to the requested topics, originality and usefulness of research content, research plan viability, and conflict with Asahi Kasei Pharma internal projects.
  • How will the selection results be disclosed to the applicants?
    Applicants will be informed of first selection results directly by email approximately one month after the application deadline. The results of the second selection will also be emailed directly to applicants, within approximately two months of the first selection.

Research procedure

  • Could you please explain the procedure for research work?
    Generally, research is carried out based on in-depth discussion between the two sides and periodic checking of research progress. Finer details are worked out by formulating research plans in advance for each specific project.
  • What is the period of research work?
    As a rule, it is one year.
  • Is it necessary to produce reports on implemented research work?
    It is necessary to create reports. Generally, reports that summarize research findings are prepared together by the two sides within the research period.

Research expenses

  • How are research expenses decided?
    They are decided in consultation for each project. Note, however, that no research expenses are provided in the case of “Research under MTA”-type projects.
  • Is it OK to use research expenses for personnel?
    It is OK, provided that the spending is within the scope of the research goals.
  • Is it OK to use research expenses for purchasing equipment?
    It is OK, provided that the equipment is necessary for the purpose of the research.
  • Are overhead costs including in the research expenses provided?
    Yes, they are included.

Handling of research findings

  • Could you please explain how research findings are handled?
    Before commencing research, the two parties consult each other about how to handle research findings (e.g., matters of intellectual property, confidentiality, disclosure), and the details are exhaustively defined in a contract.
  • Can research findings be disclosed at an academic conference or published in a paper?
    Details about time of disclosure, scope of disclosure, and other conditions are decided in advance through consultation. Depending on the content of the research findings, restrictions on disclosure may be necessary in some cases, e.g., if there is any intention to file a patent application.

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