Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – As far as technology transfer guru Karen LeVert of Southeast TechInventures is concerned, one of the best kept technology secrets in the Triangle emerged Wednesday.

Nagoya University.

The Japan-based institution that prides itself on technology transfer along with Nobel prize winning researchers put on “Nu Tech,” a day-long event designed to bring Nagoya’s work to the attention of potential business partners in North Carolina. Nagoya has in fact for two years while seeking to bring its technology to the West.

After the event which drew business leaders and potential investors from around the region as well as Japan.

“This was a great event,” LeVert, whose firm works with several universities and tech startups on commercialization. “”Now people will know about Nagoya University and what they are trying to do.

“They are seeking collaboration, and that’s what we like,” she added. “I see them getting close to doing just that.

“We see all the technology at the universities, and perhaps there are some things we can put together.

“Something like this event – making a splash – is the right thing to do.”

Among the bigger draws among the technology on display was “EVE,” or EndoVascular Evaluator.

The surgical simulator included a transparent life-sized model with a complete cardiovascular system and a pumping heart. Seiichi Ikeda, a PhD from Nagoya and the representative director of FAIN-Biomedical, walked interested attendees through the process of winding the technology through blood vessels to the brain where a simulated drug was pumped directly where needed to treat a blockage.

“We are looking for a partner,” Ikeda said, smiling broadly.

In addition to a series of presentations and panel discussions, the Nu Tech event included a tour on Tuesday of the $1.5 billion North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Some 40 scientists and Nagoya representatives toured the NCRC.

“Oh, it’s amazing,” said Sayaka Ohashi, a PhD, who is the director of Nagoya’s RTP office, about the NCRC. “We were really delighted by what we saw and the potential for partnerships.”

Ohashi, who grew up in Tokyo but lived in Oregon for six years before returning to Japan to earn her PhD in molecular biology, now spearheads U.S. business development efforts for Nagoya.

“The turnout is good,” she said of the event. “We work with the technology transfer offices at N.C. State and at the University of North Carolina. We have seen how they do business.”

According to Ohashi, Nagoya’s efforts are beginning to produce results.

“This is the one place we picked in the United States for an office,” she said. “We have an agreement with the Duke University Medical Center for an exchange of students, so we were familiar with the Triangle.

“We came here to see the biotechnology research because of the Triangle’s excellent history. We wanted to learn from North Carolina.”

Ohashi can be reached via e-mail (

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