Reserch & Development Organization
Environment & Energy Center
The E&E Center (Environment & Energy Center) was established in January 2011 to improve our research and technology development capabilities, particularly in the fields of the environment and energy, as one aspect of our measures to accelerate our green innovation business.
At Toray, we have positioned the E&E Center as a technical collaboration facility for the environment and energy field which spans the entire Toray Group, and we are strategically integrating our R&D capabilities in this field. In this way, we are dramatically strengthening our technology development capabilities making use of the Group's overall strength, and promoting the creation and expansion of new businesses. By collaborating with the Global Environment Business Strategic Planning Dept., which was launched in 2009 under the direct control of the President, the E&E Center will promote the open innovation (collaboration outside Toray)
which is essential in this field, and accelerate dynamic business creation and business model innovation.
Environment & Energy Development Center
At the Environment and Energy Development Center (located at the Seta Plant, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture), which is the core organization of the E&E Center, we have established as our top priority the creation and expansion of business in materials relating to new energy - such as photovoltaic modules, lithium ion batteries and fuel cells - and new environmental materials such as biomass materials and energy-saving materials. We are comprehensively promoting everything from planning technical development strategies, to technical development work and technical marketing.
At the New Energy Lab of the Environment & Energy Development Center, we have fully integrated prototype assessment functions to develop photovoltaic materials, produce and assess trial modules, empirically evaluate units in actual power generation, prototype and assess fuel cell materials, and perform power generation evaluation with cells.
Field evaluation facility for photovoltaic materials
To create innovative, high-performance materials to meet customer needs, we can not only conduct material prototyping and assessment, but also prototype, assess and empirically evaluate photovoltaic modules. In this way, we are currently developing materials such as backsheet film.
We will strive to develop materials which realize high durability and low cost to help achieve grid parity* of solar power, and drive growth in renewable energy.
*Grid parity: The point where cost is the same as existing electric power
To create high-performance materials that will improve the power generation characteristics of fuel cells and reduce their cost, we have introduced equipment to prototype and assess materials, and evaluate power generation in finished fuel cells. Using these equipments, we are currently developing materials such as electrode substrates for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. We will continue to develop technologies combining the strengths of the entire Toray Group, so we can contribute to the fuel cells which are expected to see broader adoption and growth in the future.
Chemical protective suits
We are working to develop new chemical protective suits to contribute to the environment, safety,
accident prevention and health of all workers by employing the fibers, films and other advanced materials possessed by the Toray Group together with sophisticated processing technologies for their combination. We have developed protective suits that are highly breathable, and suits that are waterproof yet highly moisture-permeable, to solve the problems of heat and stuffiness associated with conventional chemical protective suits. These suits are being used at decontamination sites in Fukushima Prefecture and other locations.