Innovations Inspired by Nature Research Support Program

Fostering the Next Generation Through Programs Based on the Characteristics of Our Businesses.

To aid the utilization of scientific knowledge learned from nature and the workings of nature in invention, Sekisui Chemical Group has been running the “Sekisui Chemical Innovations Inspired by Nature Research Support Program” since fiscal year 2002 as a program in commemoration of the 55th year since Sekisui Chemical’s founding.

In fiscal year 2018, there were 261 applications, with assistance granted for six “manufacturing” themes and six “fundamental research” themes, for a total of 12 grants.

  • Examples of innovations inspired by nature research

Research findings relating to themes granted support as part of the “Innovations Inspired by Nature Research Support Program” were published in preliminary form in the online edition of the British science journal Nature Communications. (Affiliations and positions are those at the time of receiving awards)

FY2014 Support Themes

Masayuki Endo (Associate Professor, Kyoto University)
“Creation of an artificial signal transduction system inspired by the cellular receptors”

FY2013 Support Themes

Shu Seki (Professor, Osaka University)
“Protein Nanowires with Ultra-High Aspect Ratio Produced by Single Particle Induced Chemical Reactions”

FY2018 Support Themes

Manufacturing Theme

Name Affiliated institution Position
(Affiliations, positions, and so forth are those at the time of receiving the grant award)
Grant-Receiving Research Theme
Masaru Tanaka Professor, Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University Invention of selective material separation technology based on lessons learned from the condition of water on organism surfaces
Masako Seki Researcher, Structural Materials Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) Development of freely-bendable wood materials and their plasticity processing technology based on lessons learned from the growth and maturity strategies of bamboo
Shiki Yagaia Professor, Institute for Global Prominent Research, Chiba University Development of new supramolecular polymer materials based on lessons learned from protein topology
Shin Aiba Professor, Faculty of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University Revival methods for areas with low levels of tsunami damage based on lessons learned from existing vegetation
Seiji Aoyagi Professor, Faculty of Engineering Science, Kansai University Development of a painless blood collection and medicine administration method based on lessons learned from the puncture mechanism of mosquitoes
Kazuo Nagano Associate Professor, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University Research related to the development of a weather forecasting method expressed through actions of daily life

Fundamental Research Theme

Name Affiliated institution Position
(Affiliations, positions, and so forth are those at the time of receiving the grant award)
Grant-Receiving Research Theme
Yoshifumi Yamaguchi Professor, Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University Skeletal muscle maintenance structures learned from hibernating animals
Shoko Ueki Associate Professor, Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University Solving the mystery of the red tide phenomenon: clarifying the control mechanism for the propagation speed of the algae which cause red tide
Yuka Kobayashi Principal Researcher, Research Center for Functional Materials, National Institute for Materials Science Invention of two-dimensional organic metals with anisotropic optical and electron properties
Motoyasu Tanaka Associate Professor , Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications Clarifying the gliding principles of a restiform body based on lessons learned from flying snakes and applying these principles to a restiform flying robot
Kosuke Okeyoshi Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Advanced Science and Technology, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Material design learned from the macro fiber structure of polysaccharides
Motomu Endo Professor, Division of Biological Science, Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology Controlling growth without gene recombination through the use of a season recognition mechanism of the biological clock of plants

The recipients of the Fiscal Year 2018 Innovation Inspired by Nature Research Support Program

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Holding of the Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum

Sekisui Chemical Group has considered the environment to be a core aspect of management ever since its founding and is contributing to the development of a sustainable society with the goal of resolving environmental problems and the social problems which result from them.


The Innovation Inspired by Nature Forum is held to report the results of the Innovation Inspired by Nature Research Support Program, which gives grants to research that utilizes foundational science knowledge learned from nature and the functioning of nature in innovation, as well as to promote research exchanges among the involved researchers, the graduate students who will be the researchers of tomorrow, and others.


At the fiscal year 2018 Innovation Inspired by Nature Forum, there were lectures based on examples of innovation inspired by nature and presentation sessions for posters created by fiscal year 2017 research grant recipients and others.

Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum 2018

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Lectures

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  • Manufacturing learned from nature and the world of functional polymers

    Professor, Tokyo University Graduate School
    Takashi Kato
    (Chairman of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan)

  • Expectations for automobile material development moving toward a sustainable society
    ~Lessons in manufacturing learned from nature and their application to automobiles~

    Toyota Motor Corporation
    Advanced Technology Development Company
    Masahiko Ishii

  • Learning from nature grant research development examples
    ~Surprising conjugate polymer coating methods and their application~

    Associate Professor, Keio University
    Yuya Oaki

Poster Presentation Sessions and Research Exchanges

A valuable opportunity to come into contact with the forefront of “innovations inspired by nature”

  • Announcement of grant research theme results (fiscal year 2017 grant themes)
  • Introduction of Sekisui Chemical’s business and research and development structure, environmental initiatives
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