As reflected in our brand statement, "Human Chemistry, Human Solutions," and with a basis in technological innovations, we are conducting R&D to realize sustainable business growth and creating new businesses globally with the aims of enriching people´s lives and contributing to social development.
The medium- to long-term management vision, "CHANGE for 2016," beginning in 2012, includes strategies to promote Teijin´s growth and strengthen the business foundation to support this growth. One of these strategies is restructuring the technology portfolio, aiming to allow our existing businesses to develop products more closely linked to end customers and integrate technologies leading to the creation and proposal of new functions and solutions.
R&D Strategy for Growth Centered on Technology
R&D strategies strengthening priority technology domains
Recognizing that technical innovations are the basis for corporate growth, Teijin has set a group-wide R&D strategy inclusive of basic research, and is strengthening alliances among group companies, aiming to expedite research achievements.
Teijin´s core technologies assuring sustainable business growth and structural innovations are supported by various basic technologies in the fields of polymer science, drug discovery, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Based on these technologies, we are continuing to strengthen our R&D, specifying Green Chemistry, Health Care and overlapping domains as priority technological domains.
Technology portfolio restructuring
Under restructuring of the technology portfolio outlined in the medium- to long-term management vision, we are aiming to further expand existing businesses. In addition, we are taking measures to move from an approach focused on materials development/applications development with a materials perspective to a position one step closer to customers and development of products that more clearly reflect customer needs. Through this intention to move our existing businesses downstream and by integrating our existing technologies, we are aiming to shift towards becoming a solutions provider, and to forge ahead in new domains combining materials and health care technologies.
Increased technological capabilities to realize solution proposals in our materials business
In our materials business to date, we have taken a customer-oriented approach, maintaining healthy profits through proposal and supply of materials highly suited to customer needs and issues. However, under the conventional business model of a materials provider, there are certain limitations in creating new businesses with capacity for growth based on discovering the potential needs of customers and markets. For this reason, we plan to not only expand our existing technologies and strengthen our competitiveness but also implement customer-involved product development that combines cutting-edge materials with advanced processing technologies to develop unique components, materials and devices (through in-house, collaboration and open innovation and other approaches).
Furthermore, Teijin is aiming to provide customers and markets with valuable new solutions. To achieve this, we will strive for flexibility in combining materials through utilization of materials from wide-ranging domains both internally and externally.
Forging ahead in overlapping business domains
In our materials business, Teijin has a range of technologies matched to demand characteristics in the medical field, such as development of bioabsorbable polymers and other new materials, nanomaterial processing and micro-forming. We also possess health care technologies such as cell engineering, protein engineering, drug formulation design and medical equipment design. Through fusing these two technology domains, we aim to create new health care businesses in the fields of regenerative medicine/reparative materials, drug delivery system (DDS) base materials, medical equipment materials and sports medicine.
Cultivating technologically skilled human resources
To realize sustainable corporate growth, we recognize that it is essential to have technological innovations and to develop technologically skilled human resources to propel these innovations forward. Our strong efforts to foster these skilled personnel that will forge the future of Teijin are numerous. For example, the Teijin 21st Century Forum, which aims to foster young researchers and create a network of researchers involved in polymer science and biotechnology fields; the Teijin Technology Advisory Council, which has university professors and researchers from each field of specialty as its members and gives young researchers an opportunity to discuss future technologies, innovative processes and technology trends; and last but not least, assigning young researchers to leading research institutions in Japan and internationally. We have also established the Teijin Techno College, an educational institution, where retired employees are involved as lecturers, passing on technical knowledge, skills and techniques to the next generation of R&D personnel.
Furthermore, we have the pleasure of having Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi of Purdue University, USA, a former Teijin staff member and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry, as a Teijin Group Distinguished Fellow. Dr. Negishi´s guidance in relation to our research is invaluable in fostering highly skilled technical personnel.