Intellectual Property

Research and Development Initiatives

Promotion of Open Innovation

To accelerate development of advanced materials and create carbon neutral transformation centers at complexes, we are promoting open innovation that actively utilizes external knowledge.

  1. The mission of the Innovation Strategy & Carbon Neutral Transformation Department is to accelerate the development of advanced materials and create carbon neutral transformation centers at refineries and complexes. The department is in charge of open innovation in technological fields, accelerates and promotes external cooperation, and consolidates the Group’s technologies across departments.
  2. We participate in funds operated by venture capital and work to discover technological seeds owned by venture startups in Japan and overseas. In November 2020, we invested in the open innovation fund operated by the Swiss clean technology-related venture capital Emerald Technology Ventures (head office: Zurich, Switzerland).
  3. We are working to create next-generation materials and train personnel at the Idemitsu Kosan Collaborative Research Cluster for Advanced Materials, which was opened at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in April 2020.
出光興産, DFF Inc.

Developing innovative technologies to promote the shift to solar power as a primary energy source

Under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) programs “Technological Development for Promoting Solar Power Generation and Making It a Major Power Source” and “Technological Development for Creating New Markets for Solar Power Generation,” we are promoting the development of new technologies to expand the places where solar panels can be installed. In particular, in the development of new technologies to install solar cells in regular electric vehicles, Idemitsu is working with multiple other organizations to develop solar cell modules for installation in vehicles to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Among the solar cell modules being developed, Idemitsu is focusing on CIS bottom cell technologies.

In addition, these projects’ respective themes will be pursued via the application of CIS solar cells (solar cells made using a compound of copper, indium and selenium) from Solar Frontier K.K., an affiliate company of Idemitsu.

出光興産, DFF Inc.

Creation of next-generation materials via industry-academia collaboration

On April 1, 2020, our company and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) co-founded Idemitsu Kosan Collaborative Research Cluster for Advanced Materials on the premises of Tokyo Tech’s Suzukakedai campus. Since the beginning of the 2000s, our company and Tokyo Tech have been engaged in joint research in polymer materials and other fields encompassing a range of technologies and have achieved outstanding results, including the development of new fiber and film materials. The newly established research base is expected to promote large-scale and comprehensive R&D that involves ongoing interorganizational collaboration and transcends the traditional framework of joint research for individual projects. In this way, we will help develop next-generation materials while nurturing human resources.

While our company boasts strengths in functional materials (lubricants, advanced materials & performance chemicals, electronic materials, agri-bio, and others) and a track record in marketing them in wide-ranging fields, Tokyo Tech possesses a breadth of sophisticated academic expertise with regard to substances and materials and is equipped with leading-edge scientific and engineering technologies. Bringing together these resources, our company and Tokyo Tech will take on the ongoing challenge of creating new value.

出光興産, DFF Inc.

Utilization of collagen and mucin derived from jellyfish

Although the jellyfish displayed at aquariums are popular among onlookers due to their beautiful and mysterious outward appearance, their swarms sometimes negatively impact commercial fishing and other business activities undertaken in coastal areas. Moreover, disposing of jellyfish caught in nets results in significant costs. Because of this, there is a growing call to find ways to use jellyfish as a resource. Jellyfish Research Laboratories, Inc., an affiliate, has invented a technology to utilize useful ingredients extracted from jellyfish. Collagen derived from jellyfish has been confirmed to be effective in promoting the regeneration of the 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.

Jellyfish Research Laboratories proposes to use jellyfish-derived ingredients in cosmetics and the healthcare fields and aims to conduct trials to label jellyfish collagen as a functional food to reduce joint pain. By recasting jellyfish as an effective material, we aim to contribute to a circular economy, blaze a new trail in the life science field, and help people around the world enhance their quality of life. Furthermore, the initiatives discussed above were covered by Circular Yokohama, an online media outlet focused on drawing public attention to local businesses engaged in innovative endeavors aimed at realizing a circular economy. The Jellyfish Research Laboratories are also registered as a Kanagawa SDGs Partner because its SDG initiatives are in alignment.

  • * Circular Yokohama: A platform that introduces initiatives for circular economy realization in Yokohama City.
出光興産, DFF Inc.