Japanese robotics venture firm Cyberdyne Inc has announced the establishment of an $82-million fund that will invest in companies that operate in the healthcare and cybernic technology spaces.
Cybernics is a new domain of research that integrates neuroscience, robotics, systems engineering, information technology, engineering, economics, among others.
In a statement on its website, Cyberdyne, the creator of Robot Suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb), said it has set up Cybernic Excellence Japan Fund 1 Investment Limited Partnership (CEJ Fund) with five partners, namely Daiwa House Industry, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc, Daido Life Insurance Co, Mizuho Bank Ltd, and Mizuho Capital Co Ltd.
“Cyberdyne and its consolidated subsidiary, CEJ Capital Inc, have determined to establish CEJ Fund in order to support and nurture venture companies aiming at solving social issues and creating a new Cybernic Industry,” the Japanese firm said.
Targeting medicine, welfare and living support fields, including labor support, as its main industries, cybernics fuses and combines the functions of humans, robots and information systems, realizing interactions between physical-information-vital systems, Cyberdyne said
The CEJ Fund has initially raised ¥9.2 billion ($81.8 million) and plans to invest in companies engaged in human assisted technology, such as healthcare, robotics, AI, Internet of Things, Big Data, among others, within a period of 10 years.
The company said Japan’s aging population and declining birth rate are progressing so rapidly that shrinking labor, increasing heavy and long-term care, and growing social welfare expenditures, such as medical expenses, are becoming more and more serious.
“CEJ Fund will act as a new industrial turntable to create new industries and facilitate positive spiral of innovation by gathering human resources and companies, which challenge the development of Cybernic Industry and business promotion in one place,” Cyberdyne added.
Established in June 2004, Cyberdyne partnered with Japan’s Tsukuba University to develop HAL, a powered exoskeleton that supports and expands the physical capabilities of its users, particularly those with physical disabilities.