The Chemical Daily recently conducted a round of interviews with the heads of R&D divisions of major Japanese chemical companies. For this installment, we talked with Hiroyuki Umetani, group corporate officer and general manager at the material technology center of Teijin Ltd. (TYO:3401).
Umetani said that Teijin is currently focusing its development resources on its composite materials and parts business as well as on its health care business, positioning these as strategic businesses in the materials and health care sectors respectively. The company is working here, he said, to create the core of a new business portfolio, adding that these two businesses will support the Teijin of the future.
For Teijin’s composite materials and parts business, Umetani noted U.S. subsidiary and Tier 1 supplier Continental Structural Plastics Inc. as a key operation. Having then also acquired Portuguese-based Tier 1 supplier Inapal Plasticos SA last year, Teijin now has a three-company system in this business – including itself – and is working out a strategy of how best to synergize between the three.
Meanwhile, Umetani said, health care-related efforts are seeing Teijin target areas from presymptomatic illness through to nursing. Coordination with the company’s materials work will also be an important factor here, he said.
Umetani then explained that on the way to growing these two new strategic businesses, Teijin intends to put resources into its existing businesses as well, allowing these to support the newer operations. On the materials side of things, he said, it will be necessary for the company to continue strengthening its operations for polycarbonate (PC) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resins, aramid and carbon fibers, and polyester film. The broader plan here is to earn capital by growing the company’s existing businesses, then divert this capital to invest in the new strategic businesses, Umetani said.
Teijin is also searching for additional new businesses from a long-term perspective, Umetani said. The idea here, he explained, is to have these additional businesses come alongside the company’s composite materials and parts business as well as its health care business to form the basis of a new portfolio.
Since the plan in this regard is to target completely new areas, Teijin’s efforts here include holding presentations for technology research as a means of collecting up possible new business themes, Umetani said. New businesses are also being explored from the perspectives of macro trends and marketing, he noted, allowing Teijin to look into possibilities in a wide range of areas.