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UBE to Open New Osaka R&D Center

Tokyo, Japan – WEBWIRE

Ube Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has decided to establish a new R&D facility in July 2016, to be located within the Sakai Factory in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. The tentatively named Osaka R&D Center will expand the company’s R&D capabilities in the strategic growth segment of specialty products.

The new R&D center will be established in the year leading up to Ube Industries reaching the mark of its 120th year in business operations in 2017. The center’s focus will be on R&D for specialty products, to propel future business growth. The new center is situated in the Osaka area, where it will be in close proximity to customers and the company’s manufacturing facilities for battery materials and other specialty products. The company’s other manufacturing facilities for specialty products are located in Yamaguchi and Chiba.

Previously, Ube Industries had two R&D facilities in the Osaka area: (1) a process development department within the Sakai Factory that operated from 1967 to 1992, and (2) an R&D facility in Hirataka City that operated from 1961 to 1995. The new center marks the return of an R&D facility to the Osaka area after a gap of more than two decades, and will endeavor leverage new techniques to generate original results.

The Osaka R&D Center will engage in research and development covering everything from elemental technologies to production technologies, focusing on materials, processing, and production for battery materials, electronic materials, and automotive components. The center will deliver efficient and rapid R&D keeping pace with today’s developments, as a core facility that will generate new products for the future.

Initially, the center will have about 50 employees who will be mainly involved with battery materials. The center will eventually grow to about 250 employees, integrating R&D departments related to other specialty product and setting up adjacent test production facilities besides taking advantage of the labor pool in the Osaka area to recruit research staff.

Main Features
  1. Comprehensive R&D capabilities from basic research to mass production prototyping

- Enhance collaboration between research, development, production technology, and manufacturing
- Adjacent test production facilities, to facilitate rapid and efficient R&D

  1. Open lab concept to create new value

- Facilitate collaboration with customers, suppliers, universities, and research institutes, to secure innovation
- Accept internships from universities

  1. Physical layout to facilitate R&D

- Testing rooms organized by function to facilitate communication beyond project and organizational boundaries, and encourage diverse new ideas
- Offices located on same floor as testing rooms, to make research more visible and encourage safe testing conditions while facilitating communication
- Future home of the Ube Scientific Analysis Laboratory, Inc., a Group subsidiary whose presence will increase the range of assessment and analysis facilities at the center

Data for Osaka R&D Center
Address 1, Chikko-Shinmachi 3-cho, Nishi-ku, Sakai, Osaka
Building specifications Steel frame construction, three stories above the ground, approx. 3,300 square meters (total floor area)
Construction schedule Groundbreaking in January 2015, for scheduled completion in July 2016
Buildings R&D building, test production facilities
Main Features of R&D Building
1st floor: Open lab space, Ube Scientific Analysis Laboratory, Inc.
2nd / 3rd floors: Testing, analysis, and assessment rooms (temperature- and moisture-controlled rooms, low humidity room, clean room), other
Personnel Approximately 50 employees to start
Scheduled to grow to about 250 employees with expansion of R&D building and test production facilities

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