The fundamental policy of the Nippon Soda group is to develop high value-added products based on superior technologies. To realize this goal, the Group has prioritized the research and development of organic synthetic products in the Chemical Business, the development and promotion of businesses involving environmental technologies (such as the eco-business) and electronic materials by leveraging its technology for organic synthetic products, and the research and development in the agro products business aiming at developing new agrochemicals.
The overview of R&D by business segment for the fiscal year under review is as follows:
The aggregate amount of R&D expenses amounted to ¥5,660 million (3.6% of consolidated net sales) and there were 342 R&D personnel (14.3% of all employees) for the entire group.

Chemicals business
(1)   Organic synthetic products, etc.
In the research and development of pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, we are primarily making progress with carbapenem and penem base antibiotics and intermediates.
In functional polymers, we are continuously researching new resins and next-generation resins mainly for semiconductor photo resists.
In new electronic materials, we promote the research and development of self-assembled monolayer “SAM” and an enclathrated catalyst for hardening epoxy resin for electronic materials. We also focus on contractual composition and research for highly-functional materials leveraged by manufacturing technology for phosgene, cyanide derivatives and sulfur derivatives and pharmaceutical and agricultural ingredients and intermediates.
(2)   Eco-business products
On the eco-business front, our activities to develop new products for domestic use, the market for the photocatalyst Bistrator and new brands are continuing.
For our treatment system by dechlorination for PCBs using sodium dispersion, waste liquid treatment equipment operates steadily in (two) power companies and Kitakyushu-based JESCO (Japan Environmental Safety Corporation). Container treatment facilities started operation in power companies at the end of April 2008, and the phase II project made consistent progress in Kita-Kyusyu.
Our R&D expenses in the Chemicals business were ¥1,557 million.

Agro products business

Following the security problems with imported products, consumers were more interested in the safety and reliability of foods. We are conducting research and development in horticulture and farming agrochemicals with sufficient effects in even small volumes and low residuals.
To expand the market for the core agrochemical “Mospilan,” we started the development of agents for treatment of rapeseed overseas and are scheduled to file an application for registration in fiscal 2009. In Japan, we filed an application for “MospilanOne,” a low priced soil treatment agent, and we plan to launch the product commercially in one year.
Our new fungicide “Syflepheminado” for mildew on wheats has been marketed in Europe. The fungicide for grapes and vegetables are also in the final phase of development and are schedule to launch in fiscal 2010. The new herbicide for lawns, “CONCLUDE,” for which we have already filed an application for registration, will gain registration and launch in fiscal 2008. In addition, we registered “Exinine,” an additive fungicide combining new and existing ingredients from other companies, and began marketing it in April 2008. “Betfighter,” a fungicide in the same product line under development, is scheduled to launch in fiscal 2009.
Our R&D expenses in the Agro products business amounted to ¥4,051 million.

Other business

In the non-ferrous metal and other businesses, we are engaged in research to improve the properties of new alloys and to enhance recycling processes for various hard-to-treat industrial waste.
Our R&D expenses for Other businesses totaled ¥51 million.