IDDK Co. Ltd. Executed MOU with Space Forge for a strategic partnership

On December 19th 2022, IDDK Co. Ltd. announced a MOU with Space Forge, who have developed a manufacturing experiment platform that works under a microgravity environment on a sustainable artificial satellite. The satellite offers reliable return; re-entering into the atmosphere to then be refurbished and relaunched.


Early 2023, Space Forge will launch a demonstrator satellite, Forge Star-0, into low-Earth orbit to demonstrate their return capability, which will later enable manufacturing in a microgravity environment. In FY2023, IDDK and Space Forge will jointly conduct a private-sector-led demonstration of a space bio-experiment under a microgravity environment collaboration.


A mini bio laboratory using the one-chip microscopic observation technology (MID) developed by IDDK will be integrated in Space Forge’s platform Forge-Star™. IDDK will receive funding from JAXA for a part of the developing cost for an ultra-compact 3D fluorescence microscope observation device using MID technology.


Space bio-experiments under the microgravity environment have been carried out on the International Space Station for a wide range of purposes, from research to industrial use. Experiments on the International Space Station over the past 20 years have demonstrated various results, such as contributing to the development of new drugs for muscular dystrophy.


On the other hand, there are various problems such as limited countries and companies that can be used for experiments on the existing platform, unclear prices and unprofitable for industrial use, and the complicated and long process of actually conducting experiments in space. There are also restrictions on possible experiments, such as being limited to experiments that do not pose a danger to the International Space Station on which humans are on board, or to the human body itself.


This attempt by IDDK and Space Forge is the first step in shifting the government-led space experiments to a private-sector initiative, and it will be the first case in Asia, including Japan. By using satellites instead of the manned International Space Station as the platform for space experiments, it will be easier for companies in countries not involved in the operation of the International Space Station to access the space experiment environment on demand – essentially offering microgravity as a service. In addition, since it will be an unmanned platform, the procedure will be cheaper and easier than before, and it is expected that the range of possible experiments will be expanded.


Kohei Yoshioka, Director and Chief Financial Officer of IDDK, said, “While various companies around the world are focusing on demonstrating atmospheric re-entry technology, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Space Forge, which is leading this industry. Atmospheric re-entry technology is an essential technology for realizing our services. In collaboration with Space Forge, we will build a sustainable platform for conducting bio-life science experiments in space. We aim to become the world’s No.1 space biotechnology experiment company.”


Soichiro Ueno, founder and CEO of IDDK, said, “Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) have proved that space bio-experiments are beneficial to people, including the potential to contribute to the development of new medicines. With its own technology, IDDK aims to shift the government-led space bio-experiment on the International Space Station to a private-sector initiative. With the strategic partnership with Space Forge, we believe we can maximize our value delivering to end-users in order to realize our vision. We are going to deepen cooperation with other countries and regions to accelerate our vision to democratize space experiments. In addition, for human beings to safely carry out activities in outer space, it is necessary to study how special environments such as microgravity, cosmic radiation, etc. affect humans and living things. I think it will be important in the next few years.”


Joshua Western, Co-founder and CEO of Space Forge, said, “We are thrilled to partner with IDDK on this demonstration, which will be launched on board our Forge-Star platform. For us, opening up access to the space environment so that people can harness the benefits of space for life on earth is at the core of our mission. To push innovation and realise the true market potential of in-space research the private sector initiative is key, and we hope that our work with IDDK and this project can highlight that.”


About IDDK Co. Ltd.

IDDK was established in June 2017 by Soichiro Ueno, the founder and CEO, and has been developing business using the patented cutting-edge technology, Micro Imaging Device (MID).IDDK is working on the space bio experiment field as a social implementation of MID. IDDK democratizes space experiment. We do this with MID applying to artificial satellites, constructing mini lab inside the satellites. Space experiments carried out on the International Space Station led by the government over the past 20 years will be shifted to private sector leadership by IDDK.