The fundamental policy of the Nippon Soda group is to develop high value-added products based on superior technologies. In order to realize this goal, the group has prioritized the development and promotion of businesses involving environmental technologies (such as the eco-business) or electronic materials by leveraging its R&D and technology for organic synthesis products in the Chemicals Business. The overview of R&D by business segment for the fiscal year under review is as follows:
R&D expenses amounted to 5,337 million yen (3.7% of consolidated net sales) and R&D personnel totaled 380 (or 14.7% of all employees) for the entire group.

Chemicals business


  Organic Synthetic Chemicals
(1)   Agro Products Division
While food safety and the reduction of environmental impacts have grown more visible as major societal issues recently, the Nippon Soda group is conducting research to develop horticulture and agriculture that thrives with only small amounts of chemicals. The group has also constructed an experimental lawn facility to encourage research in lawn care chemicals.
On the new drug development front, the new fungicide NF-149 which is highly active against mildew, the group started selling its PANCHO TF fumigant domestically after the success of the PANCHO TF additive. In Europe, both have been launched in the UK and we have also been applying for registration/certification in other countries.
We have already been selling our primary insecticide MOSPILAN in various countries around the world. In Europe, we have made progress in getting our product registered in more countries and have started to proactively market it. We are also actively pursuing research into new insecticides and additives expected to lead to the development of new markets.
In addition, for the fungicides (BEFRAN and BELLKUTE) which were acquired from Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, we have proceeded to develop an admixture on the basis of BEFRAN and our main product TOPSIN-M, while we are looking to register BELLKUTE in Europe and the U.S.
(2)   Specialty & Performance Chemicals Division
In the research and development of pharmaceuticals and intermediates, progress was primarily made with the carbapenem and penem base antibiotic/intermediates.
As for dyes and related items, a new developer has been registered for commercial use under Japan´s Kashinho (Law Concerning the Examination and Registration of Manufacture, etc. of Chemical Substances) with development and sales now underway.
In functional polymers, we are conducting research on new resins for semiconductor photo resists. R&D of sulfur, phosgene and cyanide derivatives is also in the works for highly-functional products/ intermediates covering a wide variety of fields.
2.   Eco-business products
On the eco-business front, the development of new products for domestic use and market building activities for the photocatalyst BISTRATOR are continuing. Moreover, we developed a new functional heavy metal chelating agent and started test-marketing it.
Treatment system by dechlorination for PCBs using metal sodium dispersants has enabled electric power companies to start treating their PCB materials. This system has been extended to the urban treatment business in various locations nationwide and is gaining acceptance for commercial use. R&D expenses in the Chemicals Business were 5,294 million yen.

Other businesses

We are engaged in the effective utilization of assorted industrial wastes generated in various ways. For instance, we have commercialized a recycling process by which synthetic fluorite is obtained from fluorine in waste-water. R&D expenses for other businesses amounted to 43 million yen.