Toshiba Corp. and Canon Inc. are leading 30 to 40 other Japanese companies in teaming up to develop biochips that will respond to genetic material, according to Reuters reports. The firms standardize biochips for medical diagnoses and food safety checks, according to reports. Though the market is currently dominated by U.S. firms, Japanese companies expect the biochip market to become a billion-dollar industry in Japan within the next 3 years. Biochip demand in the country comes mostly from research institutions, to which U.S. firms Affymetrix and Agilent Technologies are the dominant suppliers. The industry also faces compeition from Chinese, South Korean and Taiwanese rivals.