Toray Industries held an opening ceremony at the R&D Innovation Center for the Future on the premises of the Shiga Plant, where the company started out in 1926. The approximately 70 attendees included academic and local government representatives. The new facility will spearhead Toray’s global research as its functional materials headquarters in pursuing research and developing technologies through collaboration between its domestic and overseas production and sales units so it can expand in growth fields and regions.
Toray President Akihiro Nikkaku said in his speech at the ceremony that the center “will play a vital role in helping resolve such global issues as climate change, water shortages, and resource depletion. I also look for the facility to serve as a vehicle for joint research and development collaborations with universities and public research institutions around the world, innovating world-class technologies.”
The center comprises two buildings. One will undertake integrated research to generate ideas for the revolutionary materials, ideas, and systems of tomorrow. The other will engage in empirical research through prototyping, assessments, and demonstrations based on those ideas.
The facility will serve as an innovation hub, notably through its international conference hall, exhibition and demonstration areas, and open laboratories. It will thereby propel strategic open innovation by engaging and collaborating with academia and key partners in diverse fields, integrating technologies with them.
The center will uphold Toray’s research underpinnings, which are to ultimate pursuit and to commit to long-term continuity and to technological integration. It will fuse fine polymers and nanofabrication from its proprietary polymer technology with materials informatics and artificial intelligence. It will thereby reinforce research and technological development by creating advanced materials, devices, and systems in advanced medical, renewable energy, filtration and separation systems, and other eco and lifestyle innovation areas.
The company has remained committed since its inception to the notion that research and technology development are the keys to its future, exploring advanced materials accordingly. In keeping with Toray’s corporate philosophy of contributing to society by creating new value with innovative ideas, technologies, and products, the new center will conceive solutions that contribute to social sustainability 50 years down the track.