Creating engines of growth for the future and expanding our lineup of Wako branded products.
Creating engines of growth for the future in the field of fine chemicals, is the mission of the New Specialty Chemical Products Development Department.
Wako's specialty chemicals business boasts strengths in organic synthesis technology and conducts contract manufacturing of functional materials for various companies. On the other hand, the Company also has unique products, such as polymerization initiators, which have proven indispensable for polymer manufacturing, as well as process detergents used in semiconductor manufacturing and pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients. At present, contract manufacturing accounts for about 60% of operations and Wako-branded products account for about 40%. In the future, the Development Division will seek to create new technologies and products that contribute to the development of industry, making the ratios at 50/50 and strengthening our corporate structure to avoid any negative effects of fluctuating business conditions.
Promoting advanced R&D through five distinct departments.
“Having a sense of fun is essential for R&D. The ingenuity and creativity inspire unexpected ideas.”
The Development Department consists of five groups. The strategy group is based in the Tokyo Principal Office. It conducts promotion and marketing of new products, as well as discovering novel business opportunities in the specialty chemicals business.
Development Group 1 is a team engaged in the R&D of functional polymers. It is focused on development of LCD-related and polymer materials used mainly in secondary battery materials. The group has started to produce some innovative results.
Development Group 2 is engaged in the development of detergents for semiconductor processes. Since fast-paced technological innovation takes place in this field, there is continuous demand for new functions in detergents. The group is pursuing development of products in response to such demands.
Development Group 3 is engaged in the mass production of products developed by the two groups. In September 2016, production facilities for fully automated manufacturing of detergents will begin operation in the Oita Branch Plant and Development Group 3 is intricately involved in the start-up of the facilities.
We call another group “Development Group Zero” rather than “Development Group 4.” This name indicates our hope that the group will create something from scratch. This group is pursuing development of products and technologies that could become new pillars of business from a medium- to long-term perspective.
Acquiring the latest knowledge through collaboration with universities.
Since our research has an eye on the next generation, cutting-edge knowledge is indispensable, and there may be quite a few situations where advanced analyzing equipment would be necessary to evaluate the results of experiments. For this purpose, we have been conducting joint research with universities and public research institutions aiming to achieve results by incorporating the researcher's ideas with Wako's development capabilities. Fortunately, Wako has a strong brand in the laboratory chemicals field, and this has enabled us to build good relationships with researchers. Owing to the merger of the Laboratory Chemicals Department and the Specialty Chemicals Department in April 2014, the New Specialty Chemical Products Development Department has gained more opportunities to utilize the network and is actively exchanging ideas with the Laboratory Chemicals Division.
Aiming to realize business closer to the end product.
“We are seeking to develop attractive products and newly commercializing them.”
The ultimate goal of R&D is to contribute to society by delivering attractive products to the world and to enhance the Company's presence by quickly commercializing the products. To this end, the New Specialty Chemical Products Development Department has positioned product development to realize business one step closer to the end product as one of its strategy objectives.
That is to say, we will enhance the value of polymer materials by developing new additives, initiators, etc. Furthermore, we are focusing on business development to increase the scale of our business compared to the past by conducting downstream business development. In addition, we are also considering using polymer materials which had previously been used as cosmetic raw materials in completely different applications. The mission of the New Specialty Chemical Products Development Department in the future is to contribute to society by contributing to the enhancement of technological capabilities in more fields by using Wako's technology platform.