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Research & Development / Intellectual Property

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group promotes innovations achieved in the pursuit of prominence to enhance its earning power and cultivate growth businesses. Improving the value of our R&D and the intellectual property it produces is indispensable to maintaining our prominence and is of paramount importance to our management strategy.

Research & Development
Intellectual Property


Research & Development

To achieve our group vision, we are striving to reinforce and nurture strong essential technology, and create new value and to accelerate growth through a fusion both inside and outside the company of technologies, business opportunities, human resources, and other resources that exceed the frameworks of the three Companies. 

Social issues anticipated in the future
To  reinforce  and  nurture  essential  technologies,  management  has  designated  six  essential  technologies  and  23  technological  platforms  with  direct  links  to  specifi  c  solutions  in  the  Group’s two business domains: Creation of Housing and Social Infrastructure  and  Chemical  Solutions.  While  further  developing and honing each technological platform, we will also look to combine  platforms  to  develop  products  and  services  to  spearhead advances into new markets and business domains.


Reinforcement and nurturing of essential technology

To reinforce and nurture essential technologies, management has designated six essential technologies and 23 technological platforms with direct links to specific solutions in the Group’s two business domains: Creation of Housing and Social Infrastructure and Chemical Solutions. While further developing and honing each technological platform, we will also look to combine platforms to develop products and services to spearhead advances into new markets and business domains.


23 technological platforms

R&D Management System

The Group operates four primary R&D centers within the Housing Company, the UIEP Company, the HPP Company, and the Corporate headquarters. In addition, SEKISUI MEDICAL CO., LTD., and other key affiliated companies maintain independent R&D divisions and facilities. The three divisional companies’ R&D activities primarily focus on researching themes closely related to product development, production engineering, and management technologies, and the Corporate R&D works as an independent research unit researching key themes for medium- and long-term time frames, themes that will become links for divisional  company collaborations, and new themes for the Group.

Accelerating Growth through Fusion

We plan to further evolve our involvement in "Co-Creation", which involved the themes of growth and creation centering on new developments, etc., during the previous Midterm Management Plan, and to "fuse" technologies, business opportunities, and management resources that also target existing businesses, as well as accelerating growth by strengthening links both inside and outside the company.
For example, the aim is to fuse the plastic sheet technology for molds in which the Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Products Company is involved, and the foam technology of the High Performance Plastics Company, for use by aircraft manufacturers in high-performance interior materials.



New business and " prominent " its own products and technologies responsible for the future of the Sekisui Chemical Group
New business and " prominent " its own products and technologies responsible for the future of the Sekisui Chemical Group

Manufacturing Development Innovation

Product development is the key to a manufacturer’s competitiveness. We established the Manufacturing Development Innovation Center at the Corporate R&D Center in 2006 to enhance our product development capabilities. In fiscal year 2009, the manufacturing development departments were shifted from the Corporate R&D Center to the new Total Manufacturing Innovation Center comprising the Safety Group, the Quality Management Group, the Manufacturing Development Innovation Center, and the Purchasing Group and operating under the guiding principle of “No quality without safety. No productivity without safety and quality.” The system is structured for all departments, including the Purchasing Group, to support innovation in manufacturing. In fiscal year 2013, the Company revised its human resource development system for manufacturing production and commenced full operation of the expanded factory management training program for plant managers.
The SHINKA!-Advance 2016 medium-term management plan sets a policy for promoting manufacturing development activities to “contribute to management by strengthening our production engineering and unique technologies” by improving existing processes and innovating new processes to make the production process more efficient. The plan also includes further advancing existing measures to reinforce our core strengths and workforce.
The Company took the further step in fiscal year 2015 to fortify its ability to provide quality assurance from the customer’s perspective by combining the Customer Satisfaction Department and Quality Management Group into a single entity CS & Quality Management Group.

Manufacturing Development Innovation

In recent years, global equipment investment, and mergers and acquisitions, have been proceeding apace, and the number of overseas manufacturing bases has risen to approximately 50, surpassing the number within Japan. We will confront global manufacturing development innovation through the parallel rollout overseas of the successes of our domestic bases, etc.

Manufacturing Development Innovation



Intellectual Property

The intellectual property cultivated from our R&D activities is an important management resource that underpins SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s growth and revenue and contributes to optimizing corporate value. An intellectual property strategy is vital to maximizing the Group’s technological prominence. In the Principles on Intellectual Property formulated in March 2005, the Group clearly stated that the objectives of our intellectual property management are to contribute to our business growth and to increase our corporate value by encouraging the creation, protection, and utilization of intellectual property, which is to be achieved by respecting our own intellectual property and that of others and by clearly laying out our approach toward intellectual property management. This management mandate is further reinforced by our fundamental policy of ensuring business competitiveness by acquiring highly beneficial patents.

SEKISUI CHEMICAL adopted a group-wide Intellectual Property Management Medium-term Plan in March 2014 to foster activities related to the intellectual properties that contribute to our management and business strategies. The plan focuses on three directives.

1.

Fortify the ability to respond to intellectual property risk from domestic and foreign litigation and from the accelerated technical advances in China and South Korea.

2.

Conduct broad-ranging analysis of intellectual property information to contribute to the creation and development of new businesses.

3.

Create highly exclusive intellectual property and amass a stock of intellectual property with a high degree of contribution to our businesses.

Patents

SEKISUI CHEMICAL's first patent application was for a "film-forming paste manufacturing method" (a strong film for dirigibles and balloons) in 1948, the year after our founding, which was registered in 1950 to become our first patent. Initially, the submission and management of patents, etc., was implemented alongside other duties by the Technical Department, but as the number of applications soon came to exceed 100 a year, a patents section was established within the Technical Dept. in 1954, and they came to exclusively oversee our industrial rights.
Currently, within SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group, the intellectual property departments both corporate and for each company are our core, and we are promoting a consistent intellectual property strategy from the roll out of basic policies company-wide to the acquisition, management, and rights usage of patents. The intellectual property and R&D departments within each company periodically hold "development intellectual property strategy conferences", wherein the company's unique intellectual property strategies are discussed, and directions determined. At the same time, the corporate Intellectual Property Department supports each company's involvement from the viewpoint of a company-wide business strategy called "intellectual property portfolio optimization". Further, we are also actively forging links with outside specialists such as patent offices and law firms, etc., to suitably promote the acquisition, management, and rights usage of our intellectual property. In particular, as well as focusing on expanding business roll out globally and actively pursuing links with experts not only within Japan but also overseas, we are employing and training non-Japanese intellectual property personnel as staff to promote intellectual property activities locally.

Trademarks and Brands

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group aims to leap further as a global business by carving out the "SEKISUI" brand within our long history, and by expanding business activities not only locally or within Japan, but also overseas. In 2009, we positioned the "SEKISUI" group logo as the group-wide symbol, and have rolled it out uniformly both within Japan and elsewhere. We are also promoting activities to improve brand protection and value by claiming the rights to "SEKISUI" as a trademark in each business activity region.
Further, the business and products brands "SEKISUI HEIM" and "ESLON" are used systematically during business roll out and when launching products onto the market, and function to show the technology and performance for customers to choose SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group products with peace of mind.
In future, we will be involved in improving the global protection and value of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group brand through brand strategies using the group logo.


Involvement in "SEKISUI" Brand Management and Protection

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has a policy of "visual expression standards (Brand Book)" to improve brand value by having employees themselves use the "SEKISUI" brand correctly according to the rules. In addition, we are also focusing on training employees in the "SEKISUI" brand so that they understand the brand and observe the established rules.
Further, we are reinforcing monitoring and responses to trademark violations such as fake products that infringe the brand, etc. We are actively continuing countermeasures in Asia in particular. In future, we will respond firmly to fakes.

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