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 business involving environmental technologies (such as the eco-business), and 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 ¥5,582 million (3.9% of consolidated net sales) and R&D personnel totaled 375 (or 14.8% of all the employees) for the entire group.

Chemicals business


(1)   Organic synthetic products, etc.
In the research and development of pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, progress was primarily made with the carbapenem and penem base antibiotics/intermediates.
In functional polymers, we are continuously conducting research on new resins for semiconductor photo resists. We are also conducting research in self-assembled monolayer “SAM,” a new electronic material. Furthermore, research and development of phosgene and cyanide derivatives are on 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.
Treatment system by dechlorination for PCBs using sodium metal 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 in nationwide, and is gaining acceptance partially for commercial use.
2.   Agro products
While public awareness for “sustainable agriculture” and “food safety and security” have grown more visible as a major social issue recently, the Nippon Soda group is conducting research and development in horticulture and agriculture that thrives on only small amounts of chemicals, and hence reducing the environmental impact.
On the new drug development front, research on acaricides has been progressing to the predevelopment phase, as well as research on new herbicides is also progressing.
We expect that the new fungicide NF-149 “CYFLUFENAMID” will be registered in more European countries, following the registration in the U.K. and South Korea. Meanwhile, in the U.S. the full-scale development for the product will be commenced in fiscal 2006.
We are promoting R&D in new versions of our primary insecticide “MOSPILAN,” aiming to expand the market. In the U.S., we promoted the development of insecticides for non-agriculture use (termites, cockroaches, ants, etc.) in cooperation with a local partner. We have registered five products and started selling them in fiscal 2005.
We have completed the development of NF-165 “BEFTOPSIN,” an admixture of “BEFRAN” and our main fungicide “TOPSIN-M,” for citrus fruits and wheat, as well as application for registration. We are planning to launch it in the market in fiscal 2006.
We have also finished developing the herbicide “FULL THROTTLE” for lawns (golf greens) and completed applying for registration, planning to sell it by the end of fiscal 2006.
R&D expenses in the Chemicals Business were ¥5,534 million.

Other businesses

In the non-ferrous metal and other businesses, we are engaged in research on (1) the improvement of new alloys´ properties and (2) the betterment of recycling processes for various hard-to-treat industrial waste.
R&D expenses for other businesses totaled 47 million yen.