Intellectual Property

Research & Development (R&D)

R&D Structure

Our R&D system is comprised of "Advanced Technology Research Laboratories", which supervises corporate R&D, and research laboratories in each department. Each of them carries out specialized development. In addition, we established "Research and Development Committee" as the company-wide organization to not only examine the direction of company-wide research and development, strategies, and issues, but also to deepen cooperation among laboratories and to strengthen technological capabilities.

Segment and name of laboratory Outline of Initiatives
Corporate R&D Advanced
Technology
Research
Laboratories
(ATRL)
Environment & Energy Research Laboratory Research on climate change measures (Biofuels and Biochemicals), development of biological
materials and high performance materials
Frontier Materials Development Laboratory Development of advanced functional materials
Advanced Battery Materials Research Laboratory Development of advanced battery materials related with all-solid-state lithium ion battery and
lithium recovery technology
Atsugi Research Center Research on climate change measures (Artificial photosynthesis and biomass conversion
technology)
Development of high-performance inorganic thin film semiconductors and devices
Analytical Technology Center Providing advanced analysis and solutions to a wide range of fields throughout the group
Petroleum
segment
Technology & Engineering Center Technology development in the area of engineering design, construction, operation, quality control & assurance, and asset integrity & reliability
Technology-driven contribution to existing and new businesses
Functional
materials
segment
Lubricants Lubricants Research Laboratory Research and development of lubricants and tribology (lubrication technology)
Idemitsu Lubricants America Corporation R&D Center
Idemitsu Lube (China) Co., Ltd. Research & Development Center
Idemitsu Lube Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. R&D Center
Local-based research and development of lubricants
Global development of lubricants products and technologies with the Lubricants Research
Laboratory (Japan) as the mother research center
Rapid product development and provision of technical services to meet local needs in overseas
Nippon Grease Co., Ltd. Technical Research Laboratory Research and development of grease, rust prevention oil, cutting oil, etc.
Advanced
materials &
Performance
chemicals
Performance Materials Laboratories Development of advanced materials through high-value-added petrochemical raw materials
Idemitsu Unitech Co., Ltd. R&D Center for Plastic Products Research and development for resin processing product
Lion Idemitsu Composites Co., Ltd. Composite Materials Research Laboratory Design, development and analysis of customer grades of composite materials that meet customer
needs
Electronic
materials
Electronic Materials Development Center Research and development of OLED materials
Idemitsu OLED Materials Europe AG
Advanced Electronic Materials Development Group Research and development of special polycarbonate resins and functional coating agents
Inorganic Materials Development Group Research and development of oxide semiconductor materials
Asphalt Bitumen R&D Section Basic research on asphalt and its applications
Development of high performance asphalt
Agri-Bio Agri-Bio Technology Section Development of active ingredients for pesticides and feed additives derived from microorganisms
and natural products
SDS Biotech K.K.
Tsukuba Research & Technology Center
Development of safe and useful products for the protection of livestock and plants and prevention
of diseases
Lithium-ion battery
material
Battery Material Development Center Development of sulfide-based solid electrolytes for practical application of all-solid-state lithium
ion batteries
Power and renewable
energy segment
Photovoltaic
power generation
Office of Next Generation Product Development Research and development of CIS solar cells
Solar Frontier K.K. Atsugi Research Center
Resources
segment
Coal Coal & Environment Research Laboratory Only private research institute specializing in coal
Provision of technology services that anticipate needs and development of clean coal technologies
to meet the needs of a low-carbon society
"Idemitsu Kosan Next Generation Material Collaborative Research Center" at the Tokyo Institute of Technology ~Creating a New Value~

On April 1, we opened "Idemitsu Kosan Next Generation Material Collaborative Research Center" at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokodai) Suzukakedai Campus. Since the early 2000s, our company and Tokyo Institute of Technology have been engaged in joint research in a wide range of fields, especially on polymer materials, and have achieved satisfying results, including the development of new fiber and film materials.
The newly established research base will go beyond the current collaborative research. It will drive a large-scale and comprehensive R&D through organization-to-organization collaboration. Combining our company’s strength in developing high-performance materials such as lubricating oils, functional chemicals, electronic materials, and agri-bio, with Tokodai’s advanced academic knowledge and cutting-edge science and engineering technologies related to physics and chemistry, we will work to create next-generation materials and develop our human resources.

出光興産, DFF Inc.

External Evaluation of Our Group's Technologies

Our technologies are highly appreciated by the international community. As an example, Idemitsu and Showa Shell have been ranked 1st and 3rd respectively in the world among the industry subgroups* for three consecutive years since 2017 in the "Opportunities in Clean Tech," which is one of the items evaluated by MSCI, an ESG evaluation organization. (Table
below)
We will continue to make the most of its advanced R&D capabilities to contribute to the solution of global issues through collaboration with others.

  • * Within GICS (Global Industry Classification Standard), Idemitsu Group belongs to the Oil & Gas Refining and Marketing industry subgroup.
Ranking of companies in the sector of MSCI’s "Opportunities in Clean Tech"
Ranking 2019 2018 2017
1 Idemitsu Idemitsu Idemitsu
2 Company A Company A Company A
3 Showa Shell Showa Shell Showa Shell
4 Company B Company B Company B
5 Company C Company C Company C
出光興産, DFF Inc.

Examples of Specific Initiatives

Development of CIS solar cell technology

At the Atsugi Research Center of Solar Frontier K.K., we are engaged in leading-edge research and development related to CIS solar cells, aiming to improve energy conversion efficiency at both the research and commercial production levels, as well as developing new applications and developing advanced next-generation products with market development potential.
In January 2019, a joint research project with the NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) led to the achievement of a world record energy conversion efficiency of 23.35% for the cadmium-free CIS solar cell (Cd-Free CIS solar cell)’s cell (about 1 cm2). This record is approximately 0.4 percentage points higher than the highest conversion efficiency of 22.9% (Achieved by our company in November 2017) for cadmium-containing CIS solar cells, and represents the highest conversion efficiency in the world for all CIS solar cells. By applying basic technologies, we are working to lower costs by increasing the output of panels and to deliver environmentally friendly and economical products to customers.

Graph
Utilization of Collagen and Mucin Derived from Jellyfish

These days, jellyfish are popular in aquariums because of their beautiful appearance. However, jellyfish may have a negative impact on fisheries and businesses of companies along the coast. The use of jellyfish as a resource is desired worldwide. Jellyfish Research Laboratories, Inc. (Kanagawa Prefecture), the company of our Group, has invented a technology to utilize useful ingredients made from jellyfish. Collagen derived from jellyfish has been confirmed to be effective in promoting the regeneration of epidermis which is considered to be difficult to regenerate, and is expected to be used in the fields of regenerative medicine and beauty treatment. Mucin derived from jellyfish is also expected to have potential as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis. By taking advantage of the characteristics of jellyfish, we will create the future of life science and contribute to the quality of life of people around the world. In addition, This business model for circular economy was introduced in Circular Yokohama, a communication platform where circular economy related initiatives in Yokohama are shared.

Circular Yokohama Website

出光興産, DFF Inc.