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 and 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.
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 ¥5,408 million (3.7% of consolidated net sales) and there were 354 R&D personnel (14.4% 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 for semiconductor photo resists. We are also researching self-assembled monolayer “SAM,” a new electronic material. Furthermore, our research and development of phosgene and cyanide derivatives are in progress, to produce highly-functional products and intermediates covering a wide variety of fields.
(2)   Eco-business products
On the eco-business front, our activities to develop new products for domestic use and market for the photocatalyst BISTRATOR are continuing.
Our treatment system by dechlorination for PCBs using sodium metal dispersants has enabled electric power companies to start treating their PCB materials. Extended to the urban treatment business in various locations nationwide, the system has ever been operated in good order.
Our R&D expenses in the Chemicals business were ¥1,615 million.

Agro products business

While the use of generic agrochemicals is growing worldwide, and the environmental burdens of using agrochemicals must be reduced to make their use sustainable, the Nippon Soda group is conducting research and development aimed at creating special horticulture and farming agrochemicals that only use small amounts of chemicals.
On the new drug research front, a new acaricide is in the pre-development phase, and is showing promising results in our field experiments. We are currently conducting process research and initial safety research on this new acaricide as well, and we plan to move on to the full-scale development phase for it in fiscal 2007.
In the new drug development, our application to register the herbicide for lawns “CONCLUDE granule wettable powder” was accepted in October 2006, and it is scheduled to be registered at the end of fiscal 2007. This agent will be used as a graminicide and herbicide for broad-leaved weeds on Japanese lawn fairways.
In the U.S., we have embarked on full-scale development of NF-149, which has already been registered and marketed in Japan, Western Europe and other regions. The product is used to treat mildew on grapes, apples, vegetables and strawberries.
In the development of new versions of existing agents, we obtained permission to register the fungicide BEFTOPSIN FLOWABLE in December 2006, and started marketing it in January 2007. This product shows promising effects in controlling Fusarium blight on wheat, which produces mycotoxins, and storage diseases of citrus fruits, and is expected to contribute to sales.
Now that we have prospects for completing process research and seed treatment research in our research on sustained release products for our mainstay insecticide MOSPILAN, we can move on to development.
In the development of agrochemicals for lawns, we obtained permission to register the herbicide “FULL SLOT granule wettable powder” for lawns (golf greens) in October 2006, and began marketing it in November of the same year. We also filed an application to register the fungicide for lawns “TOP BUSTER granule wettable powder” in March 2007, and the product is expected to be used to control snow rot disease on lawns.
Our R&D expenses in the Agro products business amounted to ¥3,752 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 ¥40 million.