50 Innovators of the Year 2022
Medical Devices are considered a fundamental component of Health Systems; the benefits they can provide continue to increase as they're essential to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate illnesses and diseases in a safe and effective way.
As a device generator in the medical field, Neuroceuticals is focusing on product development, application development, and development of important components to create value. The company is making projects and releasing products focusing on those that can perform diagnosis and treatment more efficiently from research institutes, university technology seeds, clinical sites, needs, etc., and those that improve the QOL of patients.
In order to carry out the development of products necessary for clinical practice and research fields in medical care, the company has adopted innovative medical equipment by projecting methods (internal and external development, VB investment, venture company development, JV establishment, etc.). Neuroceuticals is also working to revitalize the medical device market by acquiring approval as a medical device together with the project company.
In conversation with Shinya Miike, CEO, to get a better idea of the company
Q. How do you kick start innovation if there are plenty of ideas but the regular work still prevails over innovation?
Innovation starts with a little "awareness". Most people are so busy with their normal work that they miss these little hints. That is why I value these little hints. Another thing that is necessary to make a big change is necessity. This is why a product or company can exist. If you can find out what your customers need, I think you are more than halfway to achieving innovation! And all you have to do is turn it into a product or service.
Q. What is your definition to the culture of a successful innovative organization?
It's a challenging culture. A small "awareness" is one that everyone is aware of but does not do it.
If there is a culture of challenge, everyone will feel like "let's try it." Of course, there will be bad ideas. However, all the innovations so far have come from challenges. It can be said that the environment in which innovation can occur is a culture with "courage and challenge."
Q. How do you succeed with the digital transformation of business models?
Sharing information is very important. Information that you transmit to someone else or receive from society can also be used to create various innovations. I believe that digitizing the business models that have been used in the past will be successful in a certain percentage of cases. However, as such a society progresses, there will no longer be a "difference" in information and knowledge. In fact, this "difference" in information and knowledge is what makes profits. What we need to consider is the balance between information sharing and this “difference”. On the other hand, the digital transformation can ultimately shorten distance and time. I believe that the path to success is drawn by incorporating this benefit into the business model.
Q. How do you systematically and continuously identify challenges at all levels inside your company where innovation methods should be applied?
Every month, my company brings together the managers of each department to share the challenges they face. Make a list of them and make a note of when, who, how, and by when you should answer the task. This is a commonly used technique, but it is very effective. By sharing these issues with the responsible person, employees of all departments and levels will try to find the answer. And one question is important. "Is it good for the customer?" If this answer is "No",the answer is wrong. What we should always ask is why our company exists in society. You should find and solve problems so that you do not lose sight of this.
Q. What are the most critical issues and challenges to overcome when starting out with innovation?
Innovation is the combination of existing technologies and ideas. Invention is what happens in the process. It is this "combination" that is the key to solving something. The question is how to find this “combination”. To do this, you need broad knowledge and insight. We should keep these things in mind when we start innovating.
Q. How efficient is your organization from an operational standpoint?
Our organization has departments but no sectionalism. Everyone is aware of the challenges in other departments and is always open to finding solutions. We also share information so that we can communicate with each other. To this end, we conduct employee training every month so that they can understand the products and services that our company handles.
Q. How well does your organization utilize its people as an asset to help it improve, stay competitive, and strategically meet goals?
In my company, when we take on a new innovation, we first check the POC. Then we establish a subsidiary and bring in human resources. In that case, we bring in internally trained people from within the company. This way, that person can gain experience while receiving support from the company and acquire the skills to find solutions on their own. This is how we develop human resources.
Shinya Miike will now introduce himself
During the 25-year experience in medical device business, especially medical endoscope, I was engaged in development and marketing of new endoscopes, devised strategies and tactics for penetrating them, and established new endoscopic surgical techniques.
I’m a pioneer in the ultra-thin endoscopic field (under 1mm outer diameter) of ophthalmology, breast surgery and Cardiology. My first company called FIBERTECH was acquired by a big Japanese Cable company. And I invested Venture company called Silicon Valley Medical Instrument Inc. in San Francisco who develop IVUS(Intra Vascular Ultra Sound endoscope), and was acquired by ACIST Medical Inc.
2013: Established Neuroceuticals Inc. and became CEO & President.
2012: Silicon Valley Medical Instruments Inc. was acquired by ACIST MEDICAL.
2009: FiberTechCo. Ltd was acquired by Fujikura Inc. Participated Silicon Valley Medical Instruments Inc. as a funder and Director.
1998: Established FiberTech Co., Ltd and became CEO & President.
2004: 1st Prize Tokyo Technology Venture Awards.
2018: AMED President’s Award in The 2nd Japan Medical Research and Development Awards.