Home Leave a Nest Grant Research Interview of S. T. CORPORATION Award, “Contributing to the enrichment of life...

Interview of S. T. CORPORATION Award, “Contributing to the enrichment of life through social implementation of research results that change the air”

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▲ Mr. Sorin Okudaira, Executive Expert, Clear Forest, New Business Development Office, S. T. CORPORATION, and Mr. Yohei Ozawa, President and Representative Director, Japan Kaori Research Institute Co.

We announced Leave a Nest Grant S. T. CORPORATION Award in Malaysia opens from 1st March to 30th April 2024.

(Application & Information: https://grant.lne.st/research-grant/632/

In order to tell you the passion and story of S. T. CORPORATION's challenges put to this award, we heard from Mr. Sorin Okudaira, Executive Expert, Clear Forest, New Business Development Office, S. T. CORPORATION, and his co-worker, Mr. Yohei Ozawa, President and Representative Director, Japan Kaori Research Institute Co.

 


 

Contributing to the enrichment of life through social implementation of research results that change the air

S.T. CORPORATION, which develops products such as deodorants and insect repellents, has been using chemistry to solve issues that are deeply rooted in our daily lives. With this research grant, the company hopes to contribute to enrich people's lives more than ever before by collaborating with academic researchers to conduct research and develop products that the company could not do by themselves.

 

Enriching Lives by Making Natural Products Easier to be Use

Since its establishment in 1946, S.T. CORPORATION has faced the challenge of solving people's daily life issues. The founder, Mr. Seiichi Suzuki, was involved in the development of products to protect women's important clothing from insect infestation in the immediate post-war period when his mother's kimono was damaged by insects. At that time, clothing was a precious commodity and an important asset for many families. It was against this backdrop that the company was founded and began selling insect repellents.

The company has also worked to develop products that utilize natural products to solve issues of daily life in accordance with history. For example, the company's ”Kometouban” , which uses the ingredients of chili peppers to repel rice insects, is a gelatinized version of chili peppers that have long been used at home to repel rice insects, making them easier to use and making the end product visible. Mr. Okudaira says, “We have a sense of mission to transform the power of nature, which has been used in folklore and local wisdom, into a form that is easy for customers to use using modern technology.

 

Social Implementation of Forest Power Made Possible through Collaboration with External Researchers

In order to solve issues, the company has been conducting R&D with internal researchers specializing in chemistry and biotechnology. However, in order to do something newer than before, the company has been actively working in collaboration with external academic researchers. One of the initiatives undertaken through industry-government-academia collaboration is the “Clear Forest” project, which uses the power of forests to purify the air. When starting this project, they first refered to previous research on how forests remove air pollutants, but they did not know which components of forest air played that role. Therefore, in collaboration with the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan, they began a study to collect air samples from forests across Japan to determine clean air with low levels of air pollutants. As a result, it became clear that the air in sakhalin fir forests in Hokkaido was extremely clean, and they discovered that organic volatile components transpiring from the branches and leaves of the trees had air purification properties.

Once it was discovered that the components of sakhalin fir had air purifying properties, the company wondered if it could be used to purify the exhaust gases that enter cars, and developed an air purifying agent for automobiles. It is said that NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) contained in car exhaust gases can affect bronchial tubes, and that many children in urban areas suffer from asthma and other conditions. This product was born out of a desire to contribute to solving these social issues. Mr. Okudaira added, “This was an impressive project in which we were able to create a product that could help solving a social issue based on the results of joint research with academic researchers,” showing us the passion he put into this project.

 

Focusing on Air Care & Wellness to Explore Air that Changes Lives

At present, S.T CORPORATION is engaged in air care that enriches people's lives through air, which is essential for human beings. This is exemplified by the “Clear Forest” business and the development of deodorizers. In addition to solving problems such as bad odors, the company is also developing products that add value to the air quality, such as using fragrance to improve the quality of sleep, aiming to enhance the richness of life through a variety of approaches. Regarding the establishment of the Leave a Nest Research Grant, while focusing on natural products and fragrances, which they have been researching, they are also interested in other related research themes. Mr. Ozawa said, “One of our policies is fragrance x wellness, but we see the scope of wellness as a broad concept. We are looking at not only on people but also to pets, and it would be interesting to see themes that we have never heard of before,”. He is indicating that the company is looking for ideas that it does not have in-house. He also mentioned that he has also seen many interesting academic research projects that have to be introduced to society. Therefore, he said, S.T. corporation experience in commercializing research results and its product development system will be utilized to actively support the social implementation (commercialization) of the applicant's research. They hope that the combination of S.T. CORPORATION's and the researcher's wishes will provide an opportunity for research to be conducted to improve people's lives.

 

Please apply to Leave a Nest Grant S. T. CORPORATION Award in Malaysia: https://grant.lne.st/research-grant/632/

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