Introduction of HOBIA

Published at June 3, 2019 Categry:About us

The non-profit organization, Hokkaido Bio-Industry Association, was founded in September, 2002. A predecessor organization was founded in April 1985 as an informal Hokkaido Bio-technology Information Club (HOBIC). When counting from the establishment of HOBIC (April 1985), we have had a history of 33 years from April, 2018. The term, “Biotechnology”, is used by Bio-industry based on life science. It is one of the core technologies of life science, and we can make good use of the functions of life processes. It is a technology that makes it useful for human life, and has made significant progress over the past 33 years.

Hokkaido now faces a serious problem of a declining population and economic downturn, in addition to becoming a rapidly aging society).  In order to revitalize the Hokkaido economy from a medium- to long-term perspective, it is necessary to convert the industrial structure into a self-sustaining in-house structure utilizing regional resources. Hokkaido is the largest food supply site in Japan, mainly in the agriculture and fishery industry, and was is designated as “Hokkaido Special International Strategic Zone for focusing on Foods ” at the end of 2011. Hokkaido is positioned as the national strategic area for the food industry complex of Japan.
The Hokkaido Bio-Industry Association is composed of a wide range of members from industry, government and academia, and utilizes the abundant bio-resources of Hokkaido in areas such as cosmetics, pharmaceutical raw materials, agri-bio etc. as well as foods covering all the national strategic areas. We would like to strive to play an important and crucial role in the industrial promotion of Bio-industry covering all the areas as shown above.
Kunihiro Kitano, Chairperson


  1. Bio-industry Promotion Projects

1) Regional Bio-Development Promotion Courses

We will promote information, technology and human exchanges with the aim of implementing the promotion of bio-projects required by the regions. We collaborate with bio-industry promotion organizations in Hokkaido to provide elemental information and human resources necessary for the activation of the bio-industry. We hold also seminars and meetings every year.

2) Interaction with Hokkaido bio-technology associations in local areas

We invite bio-related organizations from all over Hokkaido to Sapporo, and hold a full-bio group conference, to exchange information. We gather requests from them for holding regional bio-development promotion courses.

3) Interaction among members

We promote the construction and utilization of human and information networks with universities, bio-related organizations, organizations, enterprises, etc.

4) Interaction with bio-organizations outside Hokkaido

There are many bio-organizations that are active in the country, and exchanges with each group are extremely effective for acquiring information

and future business collaboration. Thus, we participate in exchanges such as nationwide bio-group exchange meetings and exchanges with other regions. In particular, we have a long history of exchange with the Japan Bio-industry Association and the Kinki Bio-industry Promotion Council.

and share opportunities for information exchange and business development.

  1. Bio-information business

1) Organizing a bio-related symposium

We will provide the latest information as soon as possible, with the goal of uncovering future hidden information . We invite researchers, engineers or administrative staff to fully utilize the wide network of planning and guiding committee members to distribute that valuable information in an easy form for members to understand. These sources are diverse with medical, microbial, plant, bioinformatics, bio-administration information

2) Bio-information commentary and study group

Taking topics related to biology in a timely manner, we will hold study meetings with the mass media and general public. By disseminating correct knowledge about bio, we aim to improve public acceptance.

3) Study Tours

We a visit facilities related to bio to learn activities and exchange information among participants.

3. Bio-technology workshop

In order to learn biotechnology where rapid development can be seen, we are conducting experiential learning missions. For example, learning through experimentation that a particular gene expresses a specific trait and that it can be transferred to other cells.

4. Subcommittee project

  1. At HOBIA, we are working towards commercialization through activities of group meetings requiring biotechnology to solve issues related to Hokkaido as a whole, or regional issues. It is a place of activities of members sharing specific commercialization themes. Participation by general members is also welcome.

1)Agri-Bio Subcommittee

In order to promote agriculture, forestry and fishery industries and the food industry, which are the most important industries of Hokkaido, we study the latest science and technology from the viewpoint of producers and manufacturers as well as disseminate information for the general public and gather desired information . We will hold lectures, questionnaire surveys and group meetings for that. We will send requests of the committee etc. to related academic societies and administrative agencies.

2) Biomass Subcommittee

We will learn about current and future prospects of commercialization of utilization of biomass as renewable energy, which is also important from the viewpoint of environmental conservation, through cases including overseas cases and explore the possibility of dissemination in Hokkaido.

5. Projects on public relations and investigation

We collect and provide bio-related information and promote networking of related information and related investigation.
(1) “HOBIA NEWS” (on line)
(2) Fulfilling website
(3) Survey Reports on Research for bio-related issues

6. Other activities

We conduct the following projects and co-host the following projects.
(1) Cooperation and participation in bio-related administration of government agencies
(2) Participation in various bio-related projects
(3) Advice and corrections to corporate R & D planning documents and presentation materials

 Our History

The aim is to develop and utilize biotechnology, an indispensable element in the development of Hokkaido, by gathering the wisdom, skills, and strengths of industry and academia and providing support for everyone involved in biotechnology.
April 1, 1985 Began as Hokkaido Biotechnology Information Club (HOBIC)
September 27, 1990 Organized by Hokkaido Bio-Industry Association (HOBIA)
September 10, 200Approved as a nonprofit organization (NPO)

We are always welcoming persons, companies and organizations who are participating (in) to HOBIA and working together with us.
Individual Membership Benefits

1. Receive HOBIA NEWS every month online.
2. The participation fee for the meeting that picks up most recent progress in the bio-area is free of charge.
3. Exchange information among members.

Corporate membership benefit(s)

1. Multiple employees receive the same benefits as individual members.
2. We will promote communication among member companies and organizations.
3. Provide information and consultation on product development.

Membership Application procedure

Request a membership application form from contact us.



Hokkaido Bio Summit: Declaration on Agricultural Biotechnology

Published at September 18, 2008 Categry:ISAAA

With the worlds’ dire prediction on world hunger and poverty, global warming, and inaccessibility of food and fuels in the next 25 year, urgent measures should be put in place to reduce if not totally diminish these world problems. Organizers and Co-organizers and supporting organization as listed in the last page strive to enlighten target stakeholders in Japan on these issues by giving clear views on current status and recommendations to alleviate the problem.

Japan ranks as the world’s ninth most populous nation with a population of approximately 128 million people, an average population density of 340 persons per sq km, (the highest in the world) and a total land area of only 377,835 sq km. Japan imports 60% of its food: corn, soybean, other foods and feeds. Domestic food supply has been going downhill since 1960 and is estimated to be 36% of the total food supply in 2008.

Japan is the 4th highest consumer of crude oil for transportation due to the doubling of the global road transport and the vehicle fleet in the last 25 years, in addition to air, rail, tramway/metro and waterway transport. According to Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s (JAMA) record of 2006, there are 70 million automobiles in Japan with fuel consumption of 60 million kilo liters. The sharp increases in crude oil prices which started in 1999 to 2004 and currently is more than $100 per barrel would mean a tremendous drain in Japan’s monetary reserves.

The almost doubling of the worldwide energy consumption in the last century has also immensely increased air pollutants. Harmful emissions are released throughout the entire energy development activities; upstream emissions during fossil fuel extraction and production to end-use emissions from fossil fuels burned for transport, heating, cooking and the like. A wide range of gaseous and particulate compounds have adverse impacts and can be considered air pollutants including particulate matter (PM), tropospheric (surface) ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), harmful levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), organic compounds and metals that can penetrate deeper into the human lung and do more health damage.  The increasing worldwide fossil fuel demand and the consequent environmental and health impact would be realized between the mid and late 21st century.   

Production and utilization of biotech products in Japan is one of the possible solutions in meeting these challenges. It can bring a most positive impact in increasing food production in the midst of shrinking agricultural area; in cleaning the environment through phytoremediation; and in reducing CO2 emission through the use of renewable energy sources, utilizing biotech crops as feedstocks.

It is noteworthy that the number of approvals for planting, food and feed, and environment in Japan was listed as the highest in the 2007 Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops. However, biotech crop regulations in Japan range from none to very strict, hampering the implementation of the said approvals.

Japan is considered as Asia’s leader in research and development in molecular biology and biotechnology. Top universities produce high quality experts that can be tapped in many endeavours towards the improvement of Japanese and Asian agriculture. A number of biotech products are already in the pipeline including allergen-free rice and peanut, high iron rice, and others, but commercialization and its utilization by the public is still a problem. Currently, scientific issues and concerns on biotechnology in Japan often are converged with politics, economics, ethics, culture and societal considerations, hampering biotechnology adoption.  This situation is intensified by a growing campaign by some international anti-biotech organizations to sow misinformation in the mass media and create misunderstanding and fear among the public.

In order for Japan to make a positive impact towards the alleviation of the existing global problems, the Bio-Summit declares that:

  1. Biotechnology offers the solution for Japanese agricultural problems. It is thus recommended that there be a rapid development and utilization of biotechnology and genetically-modified organisms in increasing the productivity of agricultural lands, in controlling pest and diseases, in developing new consumable products, and in tapping renewable energy source 
  2. Establish a Biotechnology Regulatory arm that will oversee biotechnology policy and regulations
  3. Improve the Biotechnology Policy in Japan that will give free hand to farmers on their farming preferences. 
  4. Strengthen the biotechnology awareness building strategies that would encourage and improve public participation in the decision-making process on biotechnology-related issues.
  5. Support biotechnology awareness program by established private and public sectors to increase biotechnology perception in the country.

June 30, 2008

NPO Hokkaido Bio-Industry Association (HOBIA)

Japanese Society of Breeding

The Botanical Society of Japan

Japanese Society for Environmental Biotechnology

The Molecular Biology Society of Japan

The Society for Biotechnology Japan

The Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology

The Japan Bio-Industry Association

NPO Kinki Bio-Industry Development Organization

International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications

Life Bio Plaza21

Bio-Crop Association