Next Generation

“Innovation inspired by Nature” Research Support Program, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO. LTD

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 “Innovation inspired by Nature Research Support Program, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO. LTD” since fiscal 2002, in commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s founding. In fiscal 2023, research grants were provided for three projects on “manufacturing” themes and eleven projects on “fundamental research” themes, for a total of 14 grants from among 240 applications.

Fiscal 2023 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
Kenji Tajima Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University Creation of high-strength fiber materials that mimic the mechanism of cellulose fiber formation in living organisms
Yoshihiro Mihara Lecturer, Hokkaido University of Science Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry Learning from the flotation mechanism of Foraminifera to develop an easily collectable floating-up adsorbents for removal pollutants
Hiroshi Isoda Professor, Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere Kyoto University Design and trial manufacture of a fine-tuned environmental prototype using the expansion and contraction characteristics of wood

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
Kazutaka Akiyoshi Assistant Professor, Nagoya University Development of optical functional materials using semiconductor nanocrystals inspired by mineral structures
Jiro Arima Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University Closed-circulated land-based aquaculture and aquaponics that mimic mountain streams inspired by bacterial communities
Chang, Tso-Fu Mark Associate Professor, Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Institute for Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology Development of multifunctional heterogeneous catalytic materials learned from plant root systems
Mugihito OSHIRO Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University Building a foundation for designing a harmonious community of beneficial microbes inspired by traditional fermented-foods
Akira Yamaguchi Tenure-tracking assistant professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology Electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction under hydrothermal condition inspired by the emergence of life in hydrothermal environment at deep sea floors
Kubo Wakana Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Development of thermal control materials inspired by animal fur pattern
Jun Takaya Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology Polymer Degradation Enabled by Photoenergy/Metal Cooperative Catalysis
IGUCHI Yoshio Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine A remote activation strategy for mammalian neuronal populations employing insect chemosensory receptors
Yo Kobayashi Associate professor, Department of Mechanical Science & Bioengineering, Graduate school of Engineering Science, Osaka University Development and application of information processing methods learned from tactile perception in living organisms
Kazuki Tanifuji Assistant Professor, International Research Center for Elements Science, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University Bio-inspired Cluster Catalysts: Advancing Nitrogen Reduction beyond Enzymatic Conversion
Kaoru Matsuo Assistant Professor, Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Agriculture Green space conservation and development for "Sustainable cities and communities" considering climate change

The recipients of the Fiscal Year 2023 Innovation inspired by Nature Research Support Program, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO. LTD.

The online award ceremony was held on Friday, October 13, 2023.

Information on past grant themes

Research findings relating to themes granted support as part of the fiscal 2022 “Innovation inspired by Nature Research Support Program, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO. LTD” were published in the international scientific journal Advanced Optical Materials (2301086).

Fiscal 2022 Support Themes
(Affiliations and positions are those at the time of receiving awards)

SAITO Akira(Associate Professor, Osaka University) Realization of “Bright, Wide-Spread, and Color-Dispersion Free” Transmissive Optical Materials learning from Butterfly, Moth, and Plants

Past grant research themes

Please click the following for details of past grant research themes.

Innovations Inspired by Nature Forum 2022

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.

In fiscal 2022, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Forum, the lectures and poster session, which were previously held at the Sekisui Chemical Kyoto Research Institute, were held online.In the lecture session, we received congratulatory speeches from Professor Emeritus Mikiharu Kamachi of Osaka University, who was the first chairman of the original jury, and Professor Junji Watanabe of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, who is the current chairman of the current jury. And Dr. Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabusa2 Project Manager of JAXA, gave a lecture titled "Technology and Management of Hayabusa2, which successfully made an interplanetary round-trip to Asteroid Ryugu".

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 2022

  • The first chairman
    Professor Emeritus Mikiharu Kamachi

  • The current chairman
    Professor Junji Watanabe

  • The lecturer
    Professor Yuichi Tsuda


  • 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.