Innovations Inspired by Nature Research Support Program

Fostering the Next Generation Through Programs That Leverage the Characteristics of Our Businesses.

To aid the application of scientific knowledge in manufacturing, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has been running the “Sekisui Chemical Innovations Inspired by Nature Research Support Program” since fiscal 2002, in commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s founding. In fiscal 2021, research grants were provided for five projects on “manufacturing” themes and nine projects on “fundamental research” themes, for a total of 14 grants from among 222 applications.

Examples of innovations inspired by nature research.
Research findings relating to themes granted support as part of the fiscal 2018 “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)

Fiscal 2018 Support Themes

Shiki Yagai (Professor, Chiba University)
Development of new supramolecular polymer materials based on lessons learned from protein topology

Fiscal 2021 Support Themes

Manufacturing Theme

Name Affiliated Institution and Position
(Affiliations, positions, and so forth
are those at the time of receiving the
grant award)
Grant-Receiving Research Theme
Masaya Sawamura Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science,
Hokkaido University
Development of Enzyme-inspired Remote C–H Bond Transformation Catalysts and Synthesis of Fatty Acid-derived Polymer Materials
Tsuyoshi Sekitani Professor, SANKEN(The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research),
Osaka University
Research and development of a sheet-type blood flow measurement system for predicting the risk of cerebral infarction and its application to medical devices
Kentaro Noda Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Intelligent Robotics, Toyama Prefectural University Research of tactile scanner based on skin type micro structure
Kazuaki Ishihara Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University Development of Biomimetic Asymmetric Synthesis of Optically Active
Kazunori Matsuura Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tottori University Creation of artificial virus replicas equipping cancer antigens learned from enveloped viruses

Fundamental Research Theme

Name Affiliated Institution and Position
(Affiliations, positions, and so
forth are those at the time of
receiving the grant award)
Grant-Receiving Research Theme
Nobuhiro Yanai Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry,
Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
Development of Organic Quantum Sensing Materials Learning from the Magnetic Compass of the European Robins
Yoichi Masuda Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Osaka University
The Source of Flexibility and Strength: Exploring the Nonlinear Elasticity of Tendons
Daisuke Koyama Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering,
Doshisha University
Optical lens using ultrasound inspired by crystalline lens
Yuka Miyoshi Researcher, Forest Research and Management Organization,
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
Establishment of new deformation processing technology using control of thermal softening property of wood
Manabu Ote Lecturer, Jikei University School of Medicine The innovative way to defeat pathogenic viruses in the microenvironment inspired by bacterial symbionts in insects
Akio Ishiguro Professor, Research Institute of Electrical Communication,
Tohoku University
Decoding Universal Motor Control Principle Underlying Animal Locomotion by Studying Extinct Animals with Extraordinary Body Plan
Ayato Kanada Assistant Professor,Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kyushu University A Woodpecker's Tongue-inspired, Bendable and Extendable Robot Manipulator with High Payload Capacity
Ken-ichi Otake Assistant Professor, The Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences,
Institute for Advanced Study, Kyoto University
Development of Synergetic Catalyst Based on Porous Coordination Polymer
Koki Kamiya Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Science and Technology,
Gunma University
Formation of highly efficient bioreactor using plant seed structure

The recipients of the Fiscal Year 2021 Innovation Inspired by Nature Research Support Program

In fiscal 2021, the awards ceremony was conducted
online, using Zoom, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum 2021 (Joint Results Presentations by Fiscal 2019 and Fiscal 2020 Grant Recipients)

To realize a sustainable society, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is expanding its contribution to resolving various social issues through business by seeking “business growth, reform, and creation centered on ESG management.”

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 involved researchers.

As the forum for FY2020 was cancelled, results presentations were conducted jointly by 24 grant recipients of fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020 at the Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum 2021, which was held online for the first time ever.

To ensure active sharing of opinions even online, the Group set up two venues—the results presentation venue and the discussion venue. The results presentation venue served as a place solely for showing pre-recorded videos of presentation outlines. This allowed presenters to fully devote themselves to discussion at the discussion venue.

The adoption of this method was well-received as it enabled results presenters and participants to focus on the sharing of opinions, which led to active discussions.

Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum 2021

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  • Presentation venue: A presentation video recorded in advance was shown.
    (Clicking on the arrow will not start the video.)

  • Discussion venue: An active discussion was held online with the grant recipients who made presentations.