Views from the bridge: At OBM, we are constantly gathering data, ideas, and government policy from across the worlds of energy, mobility, health and technology to ensure up to the minute insights can be applied to your business opportunities.

Archive 2020-2

Let’s just look forward.  We will find a way.

24 December 2020


It’s been an unprecedented year.

One after the other, challenges beyond our control have occurred and we just had to deal with them, which has been difficult for many.

When we face hardship, we tend to look down.

You may not have the energy to look up.

But let’s just look forward.

Then we will find a way.

Wishing you a peaceful and heartwarming Christmas and New Year.



UK’s first service station dedicated to EVs

14 December 2020

Last week, GRIDSERVE opened the UK’s first EV Forecourt, a service station dedicated to Electric Vehicles (EV).  This news has been recently publicised throughout the UK automotive industry.

EV Forecourt is powered 100% by renewable energy and can charge 36 EVs at the same time.  There are a variety of facilities where people can make the most of the waiting time whilst charging their EVs.

GRIDSERVE and its partner Hitachi Capital announced that they would introduce 100 EV Forecourts in the next 5 years.


Mobility | Energy

UK announces Ten Point Plan for a green recovery

24 November 2020

On the 17th November 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Government’s plan for a green recovery “The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution”.  As part of this plan, the banning of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles has been brought forward to 2030.  

The industries which will benefit from the recovery plan includes offshore wind; hydrogen production and generation; nuclear power generation; electric vehicle manufacture and infrastructure provision; zero emission busses, trains and ships; building renovation; carbon capture and low carbon technologies.

Energy | Mobility | Policy

Our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon chosen as a Business Mentor for Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka

19 November 2020

Recently in Osaka and the surrounding Kansai area, many organisations and companies have been involved in creating an ecosystem to support startups from home and abroad.  Last year, Startupbootcamp, which is the largest acceleration programme in Europe, was established in Osaka, and from the first year of the programme, overseas startup companies have successfully conducted PoC (proof of concept) trials with Kansai based companies.  

We are very honoured that our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon has been appointed as a Business Mentor for Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka.

Startupbootcamp logo and image of Osaka Castle

© Osaka Startup Grind


Our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon to talk at Startup Grind Osaka on the 18th November 2020

10 November 2020

Next Wednesday, November 18 at 6.00 PM (JST), Masako Eguchi-Bacon, CEO of Ocean Bridge Management will be in discussion with Mr Kazuki Nishigaki, host of the Fireside Chat at Startup Grind Osaka.  The subjects include the UK business and startup ecosystem, collaboration between Japanese corporations and foreign start-ups and how companies can navigate these cultures to achieve a successful collaboration.  

This event will be held in Japanese.


*YouTube link is now available 👉

© Osaka Startup Grind

Osaka Innovation Hub Interview: The attractions of doing business in Osaka

19 October 2020

Earlier this year, Masako Eguchi-Bacon, CEO of Ocean Bridge Management was interviewed by Osaka Innovation Hub on the attractions of doing business in Osaka from the perspective of Thames Valley (UK) and discussed the reasons behind the close business and trade relationship between the Thames Valley region of the UK and the Osaka / Kansai region in Japan.

Osaka Kansai

©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau

Regional relationship | Startup | Starting a business in Japan


Rakuten and Telefónica partnership to advance Open RAN mobile technology

29 September 2020

Rakuten Mobile and Telefónica will collaborate on the development of new mobile network technology in Open RAN, 5G and operations support systems (OSS).  With this partnership Rakuten Mobile will bring the experience and technology used in its Japanese 4G and 5G deployments to Telefónica’s European and Latin American markets.

A base station cell tower in a 5G 4G network showing the radio transmitter and receiver.

Technology (Mobile) | 

UK’s first post-Brexit trade agreement with Japan will increase opportunities

14 September 2020

On 11th September 2020 the UK and Japan agreed in principle on the “Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement”, which is the UK’s first post-Brexit trade deal.  Despite the short negotiation period of three months, there are a few areas which exceeded the conditions of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).  This agreement will provide not only free trade but also a good level of protection to business. We believe this partnership will provide further opportunities beyond bilateral trade, such as UK-Japan-Asia, Japan-UK-Europe/Africa, and of course the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership).

UK international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japan foreign minister Toshimitsu-Motegi agreeing the Japan-UK trade agreement.

Policy | 

Japan asked by the UK for help with 5G technology

27 August 2020

Japan may soon begin to work with the UK on 5G mobile infrastructure development.  Following the recent announcement from the UK government that it intends to ban Huawei from supplying 5G wireless equipment, the UK has asked Japan for help in building new 5G wireless networks.  Japanese technology companies NEC and Fujitsu are said to have been identified as possible suppliers during recent UK-Japan discussions.

Technology | 

Japan to create four “Silicon Valleys” to boost technology startups

31 July 2020

Japan is taking steps to strengthen its technology startup culture by following the model of Silicon Valley in the United States, and this month has defined four geographic areas which will benefit from government support to attract tech startups, investment and key talent to create new technology companies which will lead the national economy in the future.

If you would like to engage with startup ecosystem in Japan, please contact us.

Technology | Policy

OBM 10 year anniversary: Revisiting our values

29 July 2020

It is 10 years since we set up Ocean Bridge Management and 25 years since we used our Japanese heritage and cultural know-how to bring like-minded ideas and people together for business success. From the beginning our vision was always to connect good ideas, across countries and across cultures. 

As part of our birthday celebrations we decided to revisit the articulation of our vision and our values.

  • Our values
  • Programmes to support people
  • Sectors
  • Regional relationships
  • Logo changes

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.

Energy | Mobility | Heath | Technology

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


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


EUREKA Globalstars Call Japan 2020

6 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.

Energy|Mobility|Health | Technology

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.