Two Innovative Start-ups selected for GIF 2020 (Osaka)

23 July 2020

As a result of the “Expression of Interest for GIF 2020”, two start-up companies supported by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) have been selected by Osaka Chamber of Commerce (OCCI) to attend the Global Innovation Forum 2020, which will be held in October.


The event, which is dedicated exclusively to global start-ups, is set to attract visitors from across the world and provides a unique platform for those seeking to showcase their new products and services to Japanese companies and will include pitch sessions, business meetings and networking opportunities.


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After we all stop, reflect and appreciate…where do we go from here?

17 July 2020

This is the very first point in our lives when the whole world had to stop at the same time.

Since the UK entered into lockdown, I have closely monitored government policy, business reaction, education and people’s lives.


What have we learned and what can we do as a business?


Interestingly, we have recently celebrated our 10th anniversary and this incident has given us an opportunity to think deeply about the purpose of OBM and how we like to connect with our clients across the globe.

  • Individual values re-defined
  • Humans are more capable and adaptable
  • Local and Global - the importance of partnerships
  • Importance of “Fail Fast” and “Correct Fast”
  • Everything is equal

Here are the details of our thoughts and opinions:

-  8 min read

-  4 min read


At OBM, we look forward to welcoming you all to create ideas, partnerships and continued success in a ‘new’ world.


If you would like to discuss further please contact us.

Japan set to increase offshore wind generation capacity by 10GW by 2031

10 July 2020

The Japanese government has this week announced a major expansion of its offshore wind generating capacity.  METI, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to approve thirty offshore wind projects over the next 10 years which will add a total additional 10GW generating capacity over the next decade.

At OBM we view this as an opportunity for technology and infrastructure providers in the low carbon energy sector.  If you would like to develop your business in this area, please contact us here


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EUREKA Globalstars Call Japan 2020

06 July 2020

EUREKA, in partnership with NEDO (Japan), has announced a GlobalStars funding competition for research and development (R&D) projects under the EUREKA programme.

At OBM, we have summarised the EUREKA GlobalStars Call Japan, for a scenario where a co-funded project is carried out between UK and Japanese companies.  We explain what EUREKA and EUREKA projects are, followed by a summary of the EUREKA Globalstars Call Japan 2020.


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Selling to Japan - virtual workshop

3 July 2020

OBM, in association with the Japan Desk of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, is offering a virtual workshop, “Selling to Japan” on 31st July 2020.

With the recent launch of free trade negotiations between the UK and Japan, aimed at building on the existing trading relationship, knowledge of Japanese business culture will become even more important for those businesses seeking to take advantage of the opportunities available.

This course is designed for British companies who are considering expanding their business to Japan, or who are already trading in/with Japan and would like to improve their business.


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Masako Eguchi-Bacon, CEO, OBM, comments on Japan - UK trade talks

30 June 2020

Here at OBM we are following the progress of UK-Japan trade talks with interest, and we recently commented on them.  Last week, our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon was asked to share her views on the objectives and motivations for the trade negotiations.


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New Article "Green number plates – UK’s journey along the “Road to Zero”

23 June 2020

On the 16th June 2020, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a green number plate for new and existing zero emission vehicles.  It is hoped that this will boost awareness of the increasing adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles among the public and make clean vehicles easy for local authorities to distinguish. The UK has recognised the importance of zero emission vehicles for several years and hosted the first Zero Emission Vehicles Summit in 2018. This green number plate is in line with the UK’s “Road to Zero” strategy.


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New Article "EU recovery plan focuses on the green economy"

05 June 2020

On the 27th May, the European Commission released a major COVID-19 recovery plan with a significant focus on the European Green Deal and digitisation of the economy.

As part of the revised budget, the EU has created a Recovery and Resilience Facility of €560 billion which includes support for investments and reforms in line with the EU Green Deal, including renewable energy generation and hydrogen, smart mobility and the circular economy.

We are encouraged to see this recovery plan targeting CO2 reduction as well as economy stimulus. 


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Global Innovation Forum – Osaka, Japan, 26th – 28th Oct 2020

Expression of Interest to be received by the 19th June

01June 2020

We are delighted to announce that our partner, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) will host another Global Innovation Forum on the 26th-28th October 2020, following a successful event last year.  This fully sponsored opportunity is open to start-ups with advanced technology in AI, IoT, Digital Health, VR/AR and Mobility.
Expression of Interest to be received by the 19th June.
For further information and application process, please click  below link


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New Article "Changing Mobility in the UK" 

25 May 2020

Following the UK government’s guidelines to ease the lockdown, an interesting shift on mobility has emerged.  As the number of pedestrians and cyclists is expected to increase due to COVID-19 restrictions on public transport, London and other local towns and cities started announcing their plans to change street layout.  We believe many of them will stay as permanent measures and also accelerate the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) systems. If you are interested in researching or launching a project in this area, please let us know


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UK-Japan trade negotiations worth £1.5 billion about to start

13 May 2020

This week the UK Government has released its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan.  For the UK, textiles, clothing and professional and financial services are the key areas.  We expect that automotive products will be one of the main areas for Japan.  

This is a very positive development in UK-Japan trade relations and companies in both countries could come to benefit from the reduced, or zero tariffs resulting from an FTA.

If you would like further guidance, then please contact us here.


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New Article "UK receives record levels of tech investment in 2019"

09 April 2020

Outward looking tech investors in Japan may be interested to hear about the recent data published in a report by the UK Government-funded research organisation, Tech Nation, which shows that Investment in the UK’s tech sector grew at a faster pace than in the U.S., China, Germany and France in 2019.


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New Article "UK Budget Summary March 11 2020"

13 March 2020

On March 11th, 2020, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a post-Brexit budget which contained a significant increase in spending across multiple departments with a total increase in borrowing of over £125 billion.  Here is a summary of the budget policy decisions published by the UK government  in the sectors which are of relevance to OBM and our clients:

•Export Trade Policy

•Science and Technology

•Energy Sector:  Decarbonising power, industry and heat

•Electric Vehicles and reducing vehicle pollution


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Half- day Course “How to Sell in Japan” on 24 April 2020

29 February 2020

OBM, in association with the Japan Desk of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering a half-day course “How to sell in Japan” on the 24th April 2020.  This course is designed for British companies who are considering expanding their business to Japan, or who are already trading in/with Japan and would like to improve their business.


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Big thank you from OBM on our 10th Anniversary

22 February 2020

We just celebrated the 10th Anniversary since OBM was established on the 4th February 2010. Taking this opportunity, we would like to express our thanks to our clients, business partners, family, friends - every single person who has supported us.

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New Article "The startup ecosystem in Kansai"

10 February 2020

When you think of Japan, you may not necessarily perceive it of having a thriving startup culture.  However, this image has been changing.  Over the last decade, a new generation of entrepreneurs has been encouraged to create and develop their business ideas with help from government and industry.

We report on the exciting startup scene in Kansai, the region at the centre of the economy of Western Japan, which includes the cities Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.  

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New Article "Post-Election Update and its impact on Brexit and UK-Japan Business"

06 January 2020

The Conservative Party has won the 2019 UK General election and parliament has begun the process of approving the Government’s Brexit bill.  We take a look at the story so far, and what we can expect to happen in 2020, including its impact on the UK-Japan relationship.

• Why there was General Election?

• How did the main parties position themselves?

• Results of the 2019 General Election

• What does the election result mean for the Brexit process?

• Reactions from Japanese companies so far

• How is future trade with Japan affected?


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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2020

23 December 2019

At the end of the year, the UK politics has got out of its gridlock and the UK is heading for Brexit on the 31st January 2020.   We shall keep a close eye on the progress and identify its impact to the UK-Japan relationship.


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Half- day Course “How to Sell in Japan” on 15 January 2020

11 December 2019

OBM, in association with the Japan Desk of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering a half-day course “How to sell in Japan” on the 15th January 2020.  This course is designed for British companies who are considering expanding their business to Japan, or who are already trading in/with Japan and would like to improve their business.


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New Article "Japanese Businesses and the UK’s Future Economy"

08 November 2019

OBM was honoured to be invited to the ‘Japanese Businesses and the UK's Future Economy’ event which was co-hosted by the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the British-Japanese Parliamentary Group, on 29th October.

In this article we summarise the areas of collaboration between Japan and the UK and the similarities in their respective industrial strategies.


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OBM signs a partner agreement with London Tech Show across its whole tech portfolio

12 October 2019

Oceanbridge Management (OBM) is pleased to announce that it will partner with the London Tech Show to facilitate UK-Japan trade.  The London Tech Show forms the largest cluster of tech events in the UK (Data Centre World, Cloud Expo Europe, Cyber Security, Devops Live, Big Data & AI World, Smart IoT and Blockchain World). 


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RAMS RFC Business Breakfast – Business Growth During Change on the 9th October

05 October 2019

For the first time, the Rugby World Cup comes to Asia.  This year it is being held in Japan.  The pool stage matches are currently being played across the country in 12 host cities, from Sapporo to Oita.
RAMS RFC will host a business breakfast on the 9th October and we will share our views on connection between Rugby and business.


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OUI (Oxford University Innovation) Seminar in Osaka on the 10th October

03 October 2019

Our MD Masako Eguchi-Bacon will give a talk at the OUI (Oxford University Innovation) seminar " Oxford University's Intellectual Property strategy and spinouts from the University - Ecosystem in Thames Valley - " in Osaka on the 10th October. 

Masako will talk about the fast-growing Thames Valley region, where OUI is based, and the regional partnership between Thames Valley and Kansai. 


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Global Innovation Forum 2019 in Osaka (10-11 October 2019)

08 August 2019

Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and O-BIC (Osaka Business and Investment Centre) will host the Global Innovation Forum 2019 on the 10th and 11th October.  Masako Eguchi-Bacon, MD of OBM, also the Japan Desk representative of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC), has supported the selection process.  Out of over 60 applicants across the world, two technology start-ups from the Thames Valley region, ZapGo and Helix Technologies, were selected.


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BBC Interview Japanese business culture – Work Style Reform

05 April 2019    

In the UK, there is strong interest in Japan.  Japanese culture and business are often featured on radio and TV.

On the 3rd April, our MD Masako Eguchi-Bacon was interviewed by the BBC radio programme, “BBC Scotland Kaye Adams Show”, and talked about Japanese corporate culture.

The programme explained that Japan has made its Working Style Reform legislation effective on the 1st April.  It is beyond belief for people in the UK and Europe that a very long-hour working week has been normal in Japan for decades.  “Karoshi – death by overwork” has only recently been recognised as a serious social issue and the government had to impose legislation to prevent it.


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BBC interview on the EU-Japan EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement)

01 February 2019    

The EU-Japan EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) became effective on the 1st February.  

Our Managing Director Masako Eguchi-Bacon was interviewed by the BBC to share her view and expertise, and the interview was broadcast on the “BBC Business Matters” programme on the 1st February 2019.

Under the EU-Japan EPA, about 30% of global GDP has become a free trade zone.  This agreement will certainly strengthen the tie between the EU and Japan and encourage both trade and investment.  Another important fact is that common rules including intellectual property and data distribution were established under this agreement, which will influence global standards and regulations.


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