In research and development, we promote the competitiveness of existing products and the development of next-generation businesses by cultivating fundamental technologies and by expanding and evolving core technologies. In addition, we actively engage in open innovation with partners such as material manufacturers and research institutions, and carry out initiatives with an emphasis on innovative R&D and speed.
Initiatives for Research and Development
Shin-Etsu Polymer’s Production Unit, Sales Unit and Development Unit cooperate in developing high-value-added products to respond quickly to market needs. Since our founding, we have refined the core technologies we have cultivated based on fundamental technologies backed by our extensive experience and knowledge as a manufacturer of molded plastic products, and deployed these technologies to both improve our core products and develop new products in a multifaceted way. We apply our compounding technology for functional resins, such as conductive materials, and our precision microfabrication processing technology to develop innovative products. Our integrated development system from design to evaluation enables us to utilize various market channels, which in turn enables us provide high-value-added products.
Functions and Frameworks for Research and Development
To respond to changes in the operating environment and foster a sense of partnership with customers, Shin-Etsu Polymer takes full advantage of its technologies and production capacity to quickly create the value that customers require.
Formulation of Technology Strategy
- Office of Products Development Management / Intellectual Property Department
This department looks at growth industries and determines commonalities with the technologies we possess and seeks to uncover technologies we lack. Based on this information, it formulates medium-to-long-term technology strategies, including technical tie-ups and M&A, and conducts technology research. It also expands the Group’s intangible assets by filing for and utilizing industrial property rights in line with intellectual property strategies.
Development of New Themes
- Office of New Business Development
This office promotes the development of new products necessary for new businesses and the enhancement of core technologies through its involvement in research and development driven by both market needs and technological advancements and the creation and improvement of materials and processing technologies.
Research and Development of New Products and Businesses
- Development Departments Ⅰ - Ⅴ
Working in close cooperation with customers, these departments strengthen the competitiveness of existing businesses by conducting research and development and quickly updating the production environment to respond promptly to market changes. The departments thereby play a central role in raising the level of customer satisfaction and promoting business expansion. They develop high-value-added products by improving the functions of products such as conductive polymers, functional films and electromagnetic wave shields.
New Equipment Development
- Engineering Division
This division is involved in expanding applications of the Company’s core technologies such as its silicone processing technologies and developing elemental technologies, as well as promoting and managing joint projects and development themes with sales divisions. It also supports the engineering and production activities of production bases worldwide and monitors the development of facilities.
- Office of Quality Assurance
This is the main unit in charge of the Group’s global quality assurance. It formulates basic policies and strategies for quality assurance, supervises quality assurance organizations in each region and operating base, and directs the execution of specific plans and strategies. In addition, the office has established a system to check the quality of products in development when moving them into mass production to enable a quick transition to mass production.
Intellectual Property Initiatives
The Shin-Etsu Polymer Group recognizes that patents, technological know-how and other intellectual properties are key management assets. Accordingly, we set intellectual property strategies for each business field with a different business model and promote the full use of “offensive” and “defensive” intellectual property management to support the development of new markets and new customers.
For offensive management, the Intellectual Property Department works together as one with the Sales Unit, the Development Unit and the Production Unit to promote measures such as strategic patent filing and registration of industrial property rights. We intend to actively use our intellectual property rights to gain a competitive edge in the market.
For defensive management, we conduct measures such as increasing our global research activities and dealing with intellectual property life cycle management and intellectual property-related agreements, based on respect for the intellectual property rights of other companies. We also conduct educational and awareness-building activities such as ongoing intellectual property training to raise the level of our intellectual property activities.
The number of registered patents and other intellectual property assets of the Shin-Etsu Polymer Group as of March 31, 2019 and 2020 was as follows.