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vol.15@@yGermanyz BASF Japan Ltd., Amagasaki R&D Center
Last update: January 30, 2014

Mr. Ryuichi Takahashi, Director of Amagasaki R&D Center

 
BASF Japan Ltd.,
Parent company headquarters: Germany
Established: October 1949
Address: Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 21F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Line of business: Import, manufacture and sales of chemicals, functional materials & solutions, performance products and agricultural solutions
BASF Japan Ltd., Amagasaki R&D Center
Address: 7-1-13 Doi-cho, Amagasaki, Hyogo


          

BASF Japan is the Japanese subsidiary of the German company BASF, the worldfs leading chemical company. It consists of the Chemicals segment, Performance Products segment, Functional Materials & Solutions segment, and Agricultural Solutions segment. Besides its headquarters, the company has 26 production sites and nine R&D centers in Japan.
The Amagasaki R&D Center, the only R&D center located in Kansai out of the companyfs nine R&D centers, plays a role as an innovation hub in Japan, together with the Yokohama Innovation Center that was established in 2012.
Taking advantage of the Subsidy Program for Projects Promoting Asian Site Location in Japan, a research laboratory for battery materials will be established at the Amagasaki R&D Center, which develops organic solar batteries.
It is hoped that this new laboratory will facilitate the further expansion of BASFfs powerful R&D network into Japan.
The following are excerpts from an interview with
Mr. Ryuichi Takahashi, Director of the Amagasaki R&D Center.

 
Description of business:

The Amagasaki R&D Center is developing materials for liquid crystal displays and organic solar batteries. Our company has a large share in the market for the red pigment in LCD panels, which consist of many small red, blue and green dots. This product is also sold to manufacturers in South Korea, China and Taiwan. We are also developing additives (photopolymerization initiators) to improve the response to the dot patterning process for better production efficiency.
In addition to the research mentioned above, our company has decided to focus our efforts on a new study of electrolytic solutions and electrode materials for high-performance batteries in Japan. Currently, we are setting up a new office and a research laboratory at the adjacent Amagasaki Research Incubation Center (ARIC). These facilities are slated to go into full-scale operation within the year.

 
Why the research laboratory is located in Kansai:

Kansai has an accumulation of industries, ranging from upstream industries to downstream industries, including companies that work with displays and materials suppliers.
Materials suppliers offer their samples during the research stage to their customers and receive feedback. Thus, they make one improvement after another when they make progress in developing their products. This cycle of improvement is typically repeated within a short span of time. In order to increase the frequency of these cycles, we needed a base that could shorten the distance between us and our customers. Staying close to customers allows us to provide better solutions for them.

 
Why the development of batteries is now being pushed ahead in Kansai:

Japan is one of the leading countries in the manufacture and development of batteries. In particular, many leading battery manufacturers are based in the Kansai area. BASF has high expectations of the Japanese battery industry and is expanding its lithium-ion battery business as a global supplier. We thought we needed to have a research center located close to leading manufacturers and our customers.
In addition, since electrolytic solutions contain organic compounds, we expected a synergistic effect between the new project and the existing team studying solar batteries and additives in Amagasaki. For this reason, it was natural for us to choose the Amagasaki R&D Center, which had advantages for working with batteries, from among the nine R&D Centers in Japan.

 

Potential of Kansai:

As I mentioned before, many companies are located near each other in Kansai, including not only lithium-ion battery makers but also companies dealing with renewable energy (green energy) technology such as solar batteries.
Kansai has many excellent universities and research institutions. Talented graduates who have studied at laboratories in these universities that excel in electrochemistry are working as key players in the development of batteries at research institutions and companies. The Kansai Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and other research institutions run by local governments are open to private companies. They help us in performing cutting-edge R&D by, for example, letting us use their expensive analytical instruments.
In addition, universities in Kansai offer various educational programs for working adults. For example, Osaka University provides working adults with programs on technological innovation. These programs can be attended in the evening at Nakanoshima, a convenient location in the center of Osaka. They are very helpful for busy researchers to improve their skills and to receive training.
At BASF, we would like to help customers achieve further success by staying close to them. The Kansai area is very suitable for research and development, which will help us to provide innovation using the power of chemistry for a sustainable
future.

 
Future business activities:

Society and consumers are calling for clean energy. We firmly believe that the development of high-performance batteries will drive the development of electric cars, for which demand will sharply rise in the near future.
For this purpose, we would like to develop materials for customized lithium-ion batteries (positive-electrode materials and electrolytic solutions) used for consumer goods such as electro-mobility (electric cars, etc.), smart phones and tablet PCs, as well as to provide materials suitable for a wide range of products, including Energy Storage Systems (ESS).

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yContact Informationz
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Kansai Bureau
International Investment Promotion Division
Address: 1-5-44 Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 540-8535
TEL: {81-6-6966-6031 (domestic call :06-6966-6031)    FAX:  {81-6-6966-6087 (domestic call :06-6966-6087)
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