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Research & Development / Intellectual Property

R&D Policy for the period of KAYAKU Next Stage

Following on from Take a New Step 2016, the Mid-term Business Plan KAYAKU Next Stage starting in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 continues to outline strengthen R&D as a key theme, with each department uniting under the same banner to pursue research and development and create new products with outcomes to market in mind. We will also look to pooling our management resources toward mid- to long-term research and development themes while boosting our core technological capabilities in order to better meet the needs of tomorrow's society.

R&D Structure

(1) Implement R&D Integrated with our Business

Each division of research and development, sales and manufacturing will work together as one with the business groups and division to strengthen our system of product development so that it captures market needs accurately. To achieve this, we created a structure that put the Functional Chemicals R&D Laboratories, Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories, Safety Systems Development Laboratories and Agrochemicals Laboratories directly under each business group and division, and we are working to strengthen the “vertical threads” that these represent.

Functional Chemicals R&D Laboratories

The Functional Chemicals R&D Laboratories uses resins, colorants and catalysts as core technologies to develop original materials and products that combine multiple materials.
 We develop epoxy resins with a high heat resistance, maleimide resins and other distinctive materials that contribute to the realization of Society 5.0—which calls for a 5G information communications society and other such technological advancements.
 Moreover, we look to further our extensive base of knowledge of colorant synthesis technologies in the development of colorants for inkjet printers and other feature-led functional colorant materials as a step towards realizing the objectives set by SDGs.
 In addition, we are furthering development of high-performance catalysts for manufacturing basic chemicals such as acrylic and methacrylic acids, and we are successively putting them on the market.

Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories

At the Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories, we are vigorously moving forward with the research and development of polymeric micelle anti-cancer drugs through the use of nanotechnology. In response to extremely high prices for biomedicines, Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories has become involved in the development and introduction of biosimilars as the low-cost formulations that society needs. In line with this, we are attempting to obtain the technology to manufacture biomedicines that are of a high quality and highly productive. Furthermore, we are actively working on the development of generic anti-cancer drugs that cater to medical needs.

Safety Systems Development Laboratories

At the Safety Systems Development Laboratories, we are furthering development of devices that make use of our explosive technologies. These devices include disk type inflators for driver and passenger seat airbags, cylinder type inflators for side, curtain, seat cushion and knee airbags, micro gas generators for seatbelt pretensioners, as well as micro gas generators for a mechanism that raises the hood so as to protect pedestrians. We are also creating a research and development system to provide low-cost, high-quality safety components in a timely manner to customers spread across the globe by combining the technology of safety components from production bases located around the world.

Agrochemicals Laboratories

FINESAVE®, a new insecticide for vegetables and fruit trees that Agrochemicals Laboratories had been working to bring to the market, was launched in June 2018.
 As we strive to make the use of FINESAVE® more widespread, we shall continuously seek out new agrochemicals, develop safe and easy-to-use agrochemicals and unique formulations, and expand applications of current products.

(2) Group-wide Coordination and Promotion of R&D

For coordination across organizational boundaries in research and development, we are clarifying the horizontal lines that the Research and Development Group are responsible for as “horizontal threads.” The Research and Development Group oversees the integration of internal and external intellectual property, intellectual property strategy, and integration of R&D laboratories. The Research and Development Management Committee is involved in research and development overall as a company-wide management issue. In research and development aimed at the creation of new products and new businesses, we are actively promoting corporate research—such as the strategic allocation of company-wide business resources, and the integration of internal and external technology, products and intellectual property—toward subjects we expect to be major growth areas in the future.

Corporate Research

Theme Details
Using the technology of functional colorants, we are promoting the development of organic electronic materials that hold promise for flexible device transistors and sensor materials.
We are developing our own light-controlled film that makes use of film fabrication and coating technology to reflect and absorb light of a specific wavelength, and we are working hard on the development of special high-functioning films for applications in the fields of automotive head-up displays and eyewear.
Manufacturing Technologies for Biomedicines Cultivecs Inc., our research and production base for antibody drugs, was established as a joint venture with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc. We are advancing development while integrating our knowledge with the goal of establishing the core manufacturing technologies for domestic antibody drugs production.
Safety Device for Drones We conduct research and development into a parachute-type emergency safety device for drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) applying pyrotechnics we have cultivated through the development of automobile safety components. Development is progressing with a view to rolling out the product in 2021.

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Topics on Research and Development(Corporate Information)

Intellectual Property Strategy and Policy

In order to promote the “creation and provision of intellectual added-value”—a key theme of KAYAKU Next Stage— the Intellectual Property Division has outlined “the effective utilization of the intellectual property strategy in business strategy, having it serve as the driving force for business development through the creation of new intellectual property” as its mission over the course of the plan, focusing on the following four areas of activity.

  1. Filling high-quality patents: Maintaining and enhancing intellectual property rights using the degree of attention from other companies as a measure of success.
  2. Applying the intellectual property strategy to business activities: Clearly define and promote an intellectual property strategy for each business.
  3. e-Intellectual Property Division: In addition to upgrading the IT environment, proceed with reviews into the application of an AI-led SDI (selective dissemination of patent information) strategy.
  4. Global management/support structure: Fulfill a central role in intellectual property management, including across Group companies both inside and outside Japan.

 The Intellectual Property Division will work with all divisions to help develop the business by actively proposing intellectual property strategies, including providing support for the creation and acquisition of rights for intellectual property intended at protecting the Company’s business.

Intellectual property topics: Visualization through the mapping of possessed technologies

The elemental technologies possessed by the Nippon Kayaku Group span various fields and are highly complex in nature, largely due to the reliance on know-how specifically pertaining to specialist fields, and tacit knowledge passed down in development and production sites. In order to clearly establish the technical strengths and characteristics of the Company, the Intellectual Property Division worked with the Research & Development Group and research laboratories to develop a visual map of Company-held elemental technologies. This has helped us clearly identify the characteristics and sukima (nitches) of possessed technologies even in the functional chemicals business where the large product lineup that relies on a complex range of elemental technologies. Looking ahead, we will use this to set targets for technological development and formulate an M&A strategy while expanding the scope of mapped targets.

Related Information

Encouraging the Creation of Intellectual Properties(CSR)

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