Research and Development System

Nippon Kayaku's R&D system has established the Technology Unit to oversee the entire company's technology divisions in order to respond to new business development and rapid technological innovation. In addition, in each business units, we have an R&D structure tailored to the R&D target fields where future growth can be expected.

Outline of Laboratories

Research & Development Division

In the Research & Development Division, we work on development of pyrotechnic devices that use our explosive technologies for various applications in vehicles such disk type inflators (for driver's and passenger seat airbags), cylinder type inflators (for side, seat cushion, and knee airbags), and micro gas generators for seatbelt pretensioners. We will put all our effort to provide safety and security in the mobility area. We are also building a research and development system to provide lowcost, high quality safety components in a timely manner to customers spread across the globe by combining the safety component technologies from production bases located around the world.

Fine Chemicals R&D Laboratories

The Fine Chemicals R&D Laboratories develop products that combine our materials with multiple other materials by applying our core technologies in resins, colorants, and catalysts. 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. We also look to further our extensive knowledge base in colorant synthesis technologies in the development of colorants for inkjet printers and other feature-led functional color materials as a step towards realizing the sustainable development goals (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.

Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories

The Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories are vigorously pursuing R&D on new anti-cancer drugs using small molecule drug development, biotechnology, and polymer synthesis technologies, while conducting joint research with multiple external research institutions. In response to extremely high prices for biomedicines, we have become involved in the development and introduction of biosimilars as the low-cost formulations that society needs, and are taking on the challenge of manufacturing high-quality, high-yield biomedicines. Furthermore, in generic anti-cancer drugs, we are focusing on the development of highly convenient innovative formulations to meet medical needs.

Agrochemicals Laboratories

In the Agrochemicals Laboratories, we launched FINESAVE® in June 2018. This is a new insecticide for fruits and vegetables that we had been working to bring to the market.
 We are proposing good uses of FINESAVE® to increase market penetration, searching for new agrochemicals that are safe and easy to use, and actively working to develop unique formulations. We also continue to expand indications for existing products.

Company-wide Coordination and Promotion of R&D

The search for knowledge is also important in R&D for ambidextrous management. The Research & Development Group takes the lead on company-wide activities and works together with universities and start-up companies to actively search for new knowledge. The Research & Development Management Committee is the organization that grapples with company-wide management issues in R&D in general. Of the R&D aimed at creating new products and new businesses, we strategically allocate company-wide business resources to themes that can be expected to turn into major growth businesses in the future and pursue them as corporate research.

Voice!:~ Let's go out more and more!~

The establishment of an open innovation framework, which we have been promoting since 2020, has gradually been put in place. For example, we have invested in outside venture capital and are now able to efficiently search for startups that are deeply related to our business strategy areas. In addition, employees in charge of new business planning are stationed at CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) located in Toranomon, Tokyo. They are also participating in various events while exploring the possibility of collaboration.
 MI (Materials Informatics) initiative, which is being promoted as part of our research DX, has been prepared for hardware and software so that researchers can work at any time in the workplace. In addition, we have also implemented education using E-Learning.
 We will now move on to the stage of accelerating the creation of promising new business themes in an environment that has finally been put in place.

Dairi Kubo
General Manager of R&D Planning Department,
Technology Unit

*MI: A method of analyzing a vast amount of data, such as experiments and papers, and utilizing it for R&D, such as the molecular structure design of materials

Cross organizational coordination

Meeting of research laboratory heads

A meeting of research laboratory heads is held twice a year, serving as a place to draw on the organizational capabilities of each research laboratory and bring underlying technologies together. These meetings are used to investigate opportunities to implement the successful measures applied in each research laboratory at other research laboratories, and in the development of researchers, while also reviewing the elemental technologies and core technologies used Company-wide, and discussing the appropriate placement of personnel.

Company-wide research presentation meeting

Once a year researchers and engineers from each research laboratory gather to give oral presentations and poster based presentations on the elemental technologies and core technologies held by each research laboratory. The exchanges between researchers working in different fields is used as an opportunity to gain hints toward the creation of new applications for developed items, and invaluable insight provided from an objective point of view.

In Fiscal Year 2022, the Integrated R&D Building was used as the main venue and web meetings were also utilized to hold presentations on "R&D Projects for the Vision."
 In oral and posters, we presented R&D topics and R&D DX for the R&D departments that contributed to our business, deepened mutual understanding of the in-house technologies cultivated over Nippon Kayaku's history, reviewed our own technologies, and actively exchanged views as a place where the "existing knowledge" of our department and "new knowledge" that we had not previously known met.

Exchange meeting for analytical evaluation technologies

An exchange meeting for analytical evaluation technologies is held once a year as a place for analytical evaluation researchers and engineers who perform analysis and evaluation in different business areas of R&D Group, each research laboratories, and plants to gather for discussion and to exchange opinions, while sharing success stories and issues faced.

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