Shin-Etsu Chemical and the University of Tokyo agree to start a collaborative research project


Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Chihiro Kanagawa) and the University of Tokyo (President: Hiroshi Komiyama) have agreed to carry out a joint research project aimed at “Knowledge Structuring concerning General Chemistry.” This collaborative research project will start from April 2009, the beginning of the new academic year in Japan.
The University of Tokyo has established a Center for Knowledge Structuring and it is promoting cross-disciplinary research projects concerning “Knowledge Structuring.” This collaborative research project will be known as the “Shin-Etsu Chemical Project to Promote Research That Leads the Way to the Future – Knowledge Structuring concerning General Chemistry,” and as a business-academia collaboration project led by the Center for Knowledge Structuring of the University of Tokyo, the research will be conducted as follows:

Name of Collaborative Research Project:
Shin-Etsu Chemical Project to Promote Research That Leads the Way to the Future – Knowledge Structuring concerning General Chemistry

Contract period:
April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2012

Outline of the Research Project
This collaborative research project on Knowledge Structuring concerning General Chemistry aims to promote the development and integration of new science and engineering fields with a basis in chemistry such as nanophotonics, MEMS/NEMS, micro- and nanochemistry, nanobiotechnology and nanoimprint lithography and seeks to develop a breakthrough area of industrial technology that creates new higher educational, social, cultural and economic values.
For this purpose, in addition to developing the science and technologies of nanospace expansion that connect nanometer scale to macro scale, with the integration of top-down ultrafine processing technologies that are developing into areas of nanometer scale from the micrometer scale and bottom-up technologies such as using molecular self-assembly, we will establish device-forming technologies that have structures that are controlled at each size from the macro and micrometer scales to the nanometer scale.
Furthermore, to analyze the direction of science and technology development and impacts on the lives of people and society due to the development of this science and technology, the Shin-Etsu Chemical-Center for Knowledge Structuring of the University of Tokyo joint researchers, through creating a scenario of social change through visualizing and structuring of future-predictive information, will transmit to society their analyses of the correlations that emerge from the science and technology development scenarios.

Research results and impacts
Using these research approaches, the Shin-Etsu Chemical-Center for Knowledge Structuring of the University of Tokyo collaborative research project is expected to bring forth many important innovative research results and structure a vast amount of knowledge, thereby resulting in the creation of new educational, social, cultural and economic value, taking the significant findings from the laboratory and helping realize its potential benefits to society. Shin-Etsu Chemical expects to apply the research results to strengthen and expand its businesses and products.
For example, if on a very small microchip created by MEMS/NEMS technologies, a chemical reaction mechanism is created using micro- and nanochemistry technology and nanobiotechnology techniques are used to create the function of identifying specific biomarkers in an individual’s blood serum, then, by applying nanophotonics, which involves nanospheres coated with fluorescent polymers, the researchers will attempt to design different nanoscale polymers that would detect different metabolites. The fluorescence of the polymers would be quenched when they come in contact with specific molecules. This technology using ultra-high-sensitivity light could lead to the discovery of particles that could be introduced into the body to detect metabolites associated with tumors and other health conditions. The researchers will aim to create new technologies and products that can easily and effectively diagnose and treat various illnesses and monitor general health conditions anywhere.
In addition, we can expect applications of nanoimprint lithography technology in the nanotechnology field and also its practical use as a basic technology for high-efficiency solar batteries and fuel cells that are contributing to the new renewable energy field.
(*)MEMS:micro-electromechanical system NEMS:nano-electromechanical system

The Center for Knowledge Structuring of the University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo established the Center for Knowledge Structuring on June 1, 2007, with the aim of structuring massive amounts of knowledge created within the University in an autonomous and distributed manner. In cooperation with experts in such academic fields as the humanities, sciences, medicine and engineering, the Center for Knowledge Structuring aims to create new educational value, social value, cultural value and economic value by designing and implementing knowledge structuring methodologies and thus through knowledge structuring technology helping to transfer the practical fruits of these various breakthrough nanotechnology to society.
In the background, as stimulus leading to the establishment of the Center for Knowledge Structuring, there has an explosion of knowledge. Academic knowledge and information is increasing at an exponential rate, and at the same time, so is the segmentation of academic fields into increasingly narrower fields, making it more difficult for specialists to offer expert opinions on matters outside of their narrow fields of expertise. Accordingly, analyzing complicated problems which require sufficient understanding of the overall picture of things is increasingly becoming beyond the capability of any one researcher. Thus, it becomes necessary to clarify the various forms of relations between one element of knowledge and another among a wide variety of knowledge.
The knowledge structuring process focuses on particular types of relations that vary according to immediate purpose, forms such relations among a vast volume of autonomous and distributed knowledge and develops a knowledge system, which is then put to practical use by going beyond the boundaries of particular fields and connecting structured knowledge to various values. The objective of establishing the Center for Knowledge Structuring was to construct methodologies for knowledge structuring and carry out research aimed at the creation of various important values.

For inquiries about this matter, please contact

  • Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. Public Relations Dept. Tetsuya Koishikawa
  • TEL: 03-3246-5091, or from outside Japan: 81-3-3246-5091 
  • FAX: 03-3246-5096, or from outside Japan: 81-3-3246-5096
  • Contact us
  • The University of Tokyo Division for Development Haruo Ando
  • TEL: 03-5841-1689, or from outside Japan: 81-3-5841-1689
  • FAX: 03-5841-1219, or from outside Japan: 81-3-5841-1219