From Crick and Watson's famous discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 to Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen's "EPR Paradox" that redefined our understanding of reality, some of the world's most significant scientific breakthroughs have relied on the power of collaboration.

However, in today's blended world of academic research and entrepreneurism, some of the world's greatest minds are having to fight for their ideas to see the light of day.

That is something Japanese serial entrepreneur Dr. Takahisa Karita hopes to change. With the launch and subsequent expansion of his UNIPLAT platform, Karita hopes to help bridge the gap between the two worlds and open up new avenues for companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics alike.

Dr. Takahisa Karita
Dr. Takahisa Karita Dr. Takahisa Karita

We met with Dr. Karita to learn about UNIPLAT and his vision for a more inclusive, interconnected world.

Firstly, tell us a little about yourself and your background. Where did your journey as an entrepreneur begin?

It all started with my father. He was an entrepreneur in the research and development field, and I became a director of his company when I was just 23 years old. Getting that kind of management experience at such a young age was invaluable. It helped guide me during my first venture, a biotech venture in Japan, which was incredibly successful until the 2008 financial crash forced me to sell up.

Since then, I have operated at the C-suite level in several companies and sit on many advisory boards. Perhaps my most notable success was guiding CDTEC, an education technology firm, from one kindergarten to over 5,000 in mainland China as CFO.

Of course, I'm most proud of co-founding the UNIPLAT platform (Unify Platform AG) along with some of my colleagues at Chemiteras (an R&D company focusing on drug development for Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and rare diseases).

Yes, explain more about the UNIPLAT platform, and tell us why you launched it.

The idea came about as part of my work with Chemiteras, a company with which I am a corporate executive. We wanted and needed a way to connect and collaborate with some of the brightest minds in academia to fund and sponsor research we could then use to commercialize.

We quickly realized such a platform did not exist. As we dug further with our inquiries, we found that many of the best researchers and entrepreneurs never get a chance to develop innovative solutions to pressing problems because they simply cannot get the funding, support, or guidance they need to succeed.

UNIPLAT exists to end this communication cut-off between the worlds of academia and business across all cultures and continents, forming a bridge over which everyone can collaborate and innovate.

Our platform connects great minds with those looking to fund, support, and invest in top-quality scientific research.

Currently, some of the best ideas for tackling enormous global challenges (such as cancer) never see the light of day. Our mission is to change that.

Sounds good to us. How does it work?

We designed UNIPLAT with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Entrepreneurially-minded researchers can upload their materials and resources to the platform allowing access to those looking to fund and subsequently commercialize the research.

We then developed a proprietary method to evaluate researchers and help investors make informed decisions.

Rather than relying on metrics that don't hold much value in this context (such as the citation report index), we give our researchers a "credit rating" based on various factors, giving those looking to sponsor a research project a much clearer indication on the quality of the work and people conducting it.

We then help with pre-IP services, which minimize the risk of IP leakage, and maximize the value and return on investment. We've also partnered with leading institutions such as the Group of Nations and the EU Tech Chamber to ensure the highest possible number of eyeballs are on the research, garnering enough interest to secure funding.

How do you see UNIPLAT evolving, and where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

I think the most significant leap will be to launch and integrate a democratic financing model, such as crowdfunding, to open up the platform to a broader pool of investors. Rather than merely being a match-making marketplace, we want to see UNIPLAT evolve into a hub for investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and other academic stakeholders.

We want the whole research and business ecosystem to become much more interconnected and collaborative, and the UNIPLAT platform will play a vital role in this transformation. Funding is important, but so is mentorship, guidance, and knowledge of local marketplaces. In less than five years, UNIPLAT will provide all of this and more to bright researchers and entrepreneurs.

Remember, history has shown us that the biggest strides in scientific development are made together collaboratively, not in isolation. From the Human Genome Project and the International Space Station to the European Council for Nuclear Research and their work at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, collaboration has always been at the heart of scientific development.

We firmly believe UNIPLAT ensures our future generations will be able to experience the same benefits by funding and guiding the world's best academic researchers. We will present research from all fields and disciplines, allowing everyone to invest in the projects they believe in.

Some of these projects will be highly profitable. Others will change the world. The point is all of them will have an impact.

We look forward to providing a platform to make them all happen.