Connect & Experience

23-27 June, 2024 - Tokyo, Japan.

An immersion bootcamp for European ecosystem leaders in Japan’s #1 innovation ecosystem.  Your bridge to the Asian tech industry.

Connecting the European and Japanese Innovation Ecosystems

We invite you to apply to this one-of-a-kind, full immersion programme that brings European innovation ecosystem leaders to Tokyo, Japan, for a bootcamp designed to foster organic collaboration between the ecosystems.

The programme provides participants with a deep dive and comprehensive understanding of the key players and stakeholders driving innovation in the region through a tailor-made agenda that is developed to support European and Japanese innovation goals, providing hands-on tools and best practices as well as exclusive networking opportunities.

Connect & Experience provides the chance to engage with peers, top speakers, industry leaders, and executives from global companies, fostering invaluable connections and insights. Through workshops, branding sessions, and meetings with academia, government officials, and venture capitalists, participants will immerse themselves in a vibrant ecosystem, engage in a diverse array of experiences that will unlock boundless opportunities for growth and inspiration, and become part of an exclusive European innovation community.


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1. IN-PERSON IMMERSION BOOTCAMP IN Tokyo, japan (23-27 June 2024)

2. Follow up conference in Europe - the C&E Playground (Feb-March 2025)

3. Full access to the C&E innovation community network

Why Apply?

An immersion bootcamp in Tokyo is Japan's leading innovation ecosystem and the gateway to the Asian market.

Gain strategic and practical tools from top industry players to best develop and manage your innovation community.

Connect and build collaborations with peers, industry-leading players, and top speakers from Japan.

Join an exclusive global network of like minded professionals.

Why Tokyo, Japan?







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  • Tokyo is the leading Hub in Japan, 3rd in East Asia, and in the top 10 outside the US.
  • Japan – 3rd largest economy in the world (much of this activity is concentrated in Tokyo).
  • Japan’s educational system ranked 4th in the world, and Tokyo is the leading city in Japan in this category.
  • Strong governmental support and funding for programmes.
  • Corporate Collaboration: Major Japanese corporations (e.g., Mitsubishi, Toyota) actively invest in almost every Tech industry and startups – from funding, co-programmes, accelerators, etc.
  • Manufacturing Powerhouse: Japan is home to renowned global brands like Toyota, Honda, and Sony, showcasing an advanced manufacturing sector.
  • Robotics Innovation Hub: Japan is a global leader in robotics development and deployment, particularly in automation and, as mentioned, advanced manufacturing.
  • Aging Population – Fueling Innovation: Japan faces the challenge of an aging population, but this is driving innovation in healthcare, eldercare technologies, food & nutrition tech solutions, and robotics for companionship.
  • Biotech Powerhouse: Japan ranks 2nd in the world for the number of approved biopharmaceuticals, highlighting their dynamic biopharmaceutical industry.
  • $19 Billion Green Innovation Fund: The Japanese government has established a significant fund to drive ClimateTech innovation across various sectors.
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Application Opens

Application Closes



VISIT TO Tokyo, japan

Follow up conference - the European "Playground"

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Draft Agenda for the Connect & Experience Bootcamp in Tokyo, Japan

*The below agenda is subject to change

Programme outcomes

Organic EU-IL follow up activities, initiated by the participants themselves

Mindset shift and openness to new ideas

Joint hackathons, demo days and webinars

98% overall satisfaction rate

Active community engagement & network expansion


Category Number
Participant Category
Eligible KIC’s
Eligibility for Programme Funding
Eligibility for Travel and Accommodation Reimbursement
KIC Partners and KIC cooperating entities under the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme(RIS)
6 KIC’s: EIT Climate- KIC, EIT Culture & Creativity, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Health and EIT Manufacturing.
Fully funded
Reimbursement up to €2,600 per participant per module
KIC Staff
6 KIC’s: EIT Climate- KIC, EIT Culture & Creativity EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Health and EIT Manufacturing.
Fully funded
Financed by the KIC’s own resources. Grants will be available for KIC staff under special conditions.
Partner/Staff from other KIC’s
EIT InnoEnergy, EIT RawMaterials, and EIT Urban Mobility.
85% Funded; Price: €1,000
Financed by participant’s own resources
Ecosystem Manager (Non EIT)
Any individual professional can apply.
66% Funded; Price: €2,000
Financed by participant’s own resources



Neil Walmsley

“Having worked mostly with the European innovation ecosystem, this program was an excellent opportunity to understand the world of Silicon Valley, the differences in approaches and how to effectively work with the Silicon Valley innovation community and investors. We had the opportunity to visit a range of different accelerators, innovation hubs and investors, getting a chance to understand their approaches and what they are looking for when working with innovators. It was a great opportunity to both develop a deeper understanding of the different cultures and build networks with counterparts in California. This has proven immensely valuable to me and my organisation.”
Anca del Rio

Anca del Rio

“Great learning experience from all standpoints: venture & business, investment, cultural shifts, ecosystem development. Made very good connections and got a deep dive in the innovation ecosystem; could not have been better!”
Bram Pauwels

Bram Pauwels

Connect & Experience provided me with the unique opportunity to establish long lasting connections with global peers and experts, enabling me to take my work at EBN to the next level, and enhance our impact in the start up and innovation space”

Meet the Connect & Experience Team

Adi Barel

Director EIT Global Outreach


Innovation & Business Creation Manager

Tal Caspi

Operations & Project Manager
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Yes, participation in Tokyo is required, and the core Connect & Experience event provides you with professional training and builds the community. You will have the chance to travel around the city, meet Japanese peers, and learn from one of the world’s leading innovation ecosystems.

The cohort will be comprised of ecosystem leaders from all over Europe that were carefully selected to join the programme. You will meet peers and ecosystem leaders from Tokyo and Japan, top speakers and lecturers on several topics, executives from global companies active in Tokyo, and many more.

An ecosystem leader is an experienced senior professional at the management/decision-making level in an organization boosting European start-up growth, significantly impacting the European ecosystem. They should deal with innovation or business creation in any of the following sectors: industry, academia, and government. For example, VCs, TTOs, heads of accelerators, innovation agencies, labs, incubators, or other business creation activities from academia, industry, and government.

The programme encompasses various subjects, including an overview of the Tokyo ecosystem and meetings with leading figures from the industry. You will have the chance to get your hands ‘dirty’ and delve into an ecosystem-building workshop, learn the dos and don’ts of branding, visit academia and governmental offices, meet with VCs, and become inspired by the many opportunities that will arise.

The applicants will be ranked according to the criteria noted here, and the Global Outreach Working Group will make the final decision as to the participants. Applicants will receive responses by 9th May 2024.

If you wish to submit an inquiry about the answer you got following the selection process, you can email Ido:

Please explain your inquiry as clearly as possible; the deadline is 15th May 2024.

Past participants have established long-standing collaborations with experts they met and cohort members. You can expect to be left with a change of mindset that will enable you to approach your day-to-day activities with a newfound sense of purpose, as well as a tangible toolkit to establish the best practices you were exposed to. The Connect & Experience community is extremely active, with joint ventures taking place regularly; you can expect to expand your network and be part of a supportive and professional group of people that will take your ecosystem to the next level.

Dive into the heart of global innovation at Tokyo’s vibrant tech ecosystem, ranked as the top hub in Japan, 3rd in East Asia, and a powerhouse amongst global players. Immerse yourself in the energy of the world’s 3rd largest economy, concentrated in this dynamic city. Leverage the expertise of Japan’s world-renowned educational system, ranked 4th globally, with Tokyo at its helm. Use Tokyo as a friendly bridge to unlock the vast potential of Asian markets. Collaborate with government initiatives leveraging significant funding programmes, and tap into leading domains like advanced manufacturing, robotics, AI, and life sciences.

Do you have any questions? Get in touch with us at

Professional Training in Tokyo, Japan (23 - 27 June 2024)

  • Embark on a 5-day exploration of Tokyo’s dynamic tech hub, delving into Japan’s innovation ecosystem. This programme goes beyond introductions and provides deep diving into key drivers like government funding, academia-startup synergy, community building, and corporate engagement. Tokyo, a tech epicenter, offers distinct advantages with a robust commitment to technology and a history of pioneering contributions. Immerse in the unique dynamics of Tokyo’s ecosystem, featuring influential figures shaping Japan’s tech success. During the programme the delegation will meet and visit key figures from various corporates, VCs, accelerators, and governmental institutes such as Sony Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Fujitsu, Sompo, Rakuten, Global Brain Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Samurai Incubate Inc., Jetro, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Waseda University, The University of Tokyo, Open Network Lab, CIC, GEN Japan, and more.
  • The programme leverages Tokyo’s tech heritage, offering practical insights, mentorship, and tools for ecosystem leaders. Benefit from the expertise of Japanese tech leaders, gaining a comprehensive understanding of commercializing ideas and intellectual property. Tokyo’s tech ecosystem emphasizes resilience and sustainability, creating an ideal environment for innovation. The programme guides participants in navigating pitfalls and building a lasting system beyond temporary successes.
  • Immerse in Tokyo’s tech landscape to tap into global innovation and leverage Japan’s commitment to technology and sustainable entrepreneurial growth for your ecosystem’s and startup’s success.

The Playground

The annual highlight of the C&E community network – European Playground, is a professional conference that offers practical tools and strategies to develop and manage innovation communities and startup support systems, bringing together professionals from all across Europe.

Members will be offered the opportunity to design and co-facilitate content and workshops with a European peer who has experience in connecting the public and private sectors, startups, and corporate players. As such, the playground can be used as a testbed for new ideas and initiatives, receiving real-time feedback and potential collaborations from leading experts in the field.  

C&E alumni of 2024 will be entitled to a complimentary ticket to the Playground if they are eligible for reimbursement.


Full access to the community network

Connect & Experience offers more than training. The C&E community network is an active EU online and offline community offering easy access to opportunities, curated content, matchmaking, soft landing services, and support. The community provides a space for community builders from Europe and Horizon Europe associated countries to interact, share best practices, and collaborate to enhance your startup community.



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*For the best experience, we highly recommend reading the report on your desktop and not your mobile.

Access to Healthcare

The Health not The Death is a fundamental human right. A healthy population is not to be seen as human and social capital, an input, or by-product, towards economic growth. Alongside a healthy and sustainable environment, a solidarity, a healthy population must be the ultimate goal especially nowadays in helping Ukrainian migrants with cancer and their families.

Solidarity in health is a cornerstone of EU health policy. There are wide disparities in many health outcomes across the region and those outcomes. The access rules dramatically affect healthcare systems which are at the forefront of the migrant way, the people who are searching for help and the way how we could enhance and support their healthier and wellbeing status.

In order to ensure their access to care and continued cure in need, the probability of receiving a timely diagnosis and of surviving differs greatly from country to country where they are now. There is lack of information, help and inequalities in access. People need help in navigating cancer knowledge, diagnostics, secondary monitoring and prevention, way of treatments, and care.

Shifting our mindset, supporting healthcare connectivity, removing inequalities overall across Europe is our mission and even more now in a time of crisis, helping the Ukrainian people dealing with cancer is a good place to begin this transformative revolution.

1) Whether we have a chance to foster more holistic and integrated approaches to receive information and care, by supporting coordination and maximising an enabling and health-enhancing effect of care across services from different countries?

2) Whether actions should address the social determinants of health, the countries where they are now, the health need which they have, the social and language barriers are the conditions which have to be taken into consideration in a coordinated manner?

How might we improve patients and /or people who seek healthcare support, access to healthcare services at an EU & the Member States Healthcare systems level? Especially in a time of crisis in Europe.

How might we support refugees fleeing from their countries by navigating them to medical centres to receive best available care?  


Predictive Treatment

Precision medicine aims to personalise care for every individual. Nongenomic and genomic determinants, combined with information from patient symptoms, clinical history, and lifestyle (nutrition, physical activity, stress etc.), can facilitate personalised diagnosis and prognostics. Yet this goal requires access to massive amounts of data which may come from different structured and unstructured sources; these can be our medical records, laboratory testing, a range of medical devices as well as from the patient himself. AI & ML can combine input from these multiple sources, analyse them and identify biomarkers that can support health professionals make more informed decisions. The convergence of precision medicine with the advanced AI capabilities will improve the ability to personalise care – improve diagnosis, risk prediction as well as therapy planning.  

HCPs want to better predict treatment response, given uncertainty around which treatment to prescribe to which patient and when to prescribe. How do we risk assess the patients, match them with the right treatment (personalised). How can we transform the wealth of data and link it to the predictive nature of how the patient will respond?


Patient Journey Navigation

Being diagnosed with cancer is overwhelming and comes as a blow. Patients may feel on a roller coaster of emotions—they are scared, lost & confused not knowing what to expect, who to refer to, what to do and how to tell their loved ones.  They directly refer to “Dr. Google” to look for information about their disease, possible treatments, QoL strategies with the aim to have better understanding of their disease and learn how to better cope with their disease & treatment, yet information is not always valid, accessible, nor personalised or tailored to the patient’s status and needs therefore left with huge amounts of non-relevant information. Coming to the doctor, the physician’s time is limited and mostly focusing on the physical aspects of the disease & treatment, not leaving much time to ask questions nor discuss more holistic aspects of the disease such as emotional, psychological, social aspects. The patient (& caregiver in many cases) leaves the room with unanswered questions, doesn’t remember much of what has been said, and feels he is not heard, nor seen as a whole.

The need for navigating this journey along the emotional psychological stress is overwhelming & patients and their caregivers look for support (case manager/companion/partner) to help manage their disease holistically – starting from having clarity around their disease and treatment by having access to reliable and personalised information during their journey as well as having an integrated holistic care system , supporting them and their loved ones to navigate through the different aspects of their disease – medical, emotional, logistical, psychological, social, rights.

How can we support patients to navigate through the complexity of their disease and treatment ensuring they have validated holistic information about their disease journey & treatment and be empowered to  effectively manage their care 


Peer-to-Peer Medical Exchange

As medical events pivoted from conference centres and meeting rooms to the virtual settings, learning opportunities continue. Lectures and presentations are translated to the new digital world, yet the ability to connect and network is relatively lost. Peer interaction is essential not only for information exchange but to share practical insights, allows consultation & in-person experience cross country and across borders leading to better disease management.

This peer-based learning/ consultation is highly valued amongst practising clinicians and was generally achieved when HCPs and KOLs met their peers in national & Intl conferences, group debates, advisory boards and even during quick corridor conversations. Attempting to replicate these in-person experiences into the digital space creates challenges and are not effective nor impactful as face-to-face engagements. 

How might we improve HCP medical exchange enabling physicians to easily communicate, consult, exchange opinions leveraging individual experts & centres of excellence knowledge, experiences, and practices?

How can we leverage the technological expertise to allow HCPs to connect with leading experts across countries to get advice / counselling for their cases?


Application for 2022Calling2Scale is closed.
Interested in participating in the next cohort?