kuraray


News Releases 2004

U.S. R&D Base Kuraray Research &D Technical Center (USA) Commences Operations

April 30, 2004
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray has opened Kuraray Research and Technical Center, USA (KRTC), an R&D facility constructed on the grounds of Kuraray's U.S. subsidiary EVAL Company of America (EVALCA; Pasadena, Texas).

Kuraray is expanding its business worldwide, guided by a basic policy of producing in the optimal location, and marketing in the optimal location. In its R&D as well, the Company's policy is to choose locations closely associated with markets, and in 1993 the Company established a Technical Center within EVALCA which conducts product development related to the gas barrier resin EVAL.
Subsequently, when the Company commenced production of the thermoplastic elastomer SEPTON in Pasadena, Texas, a need to conduct product development for SEPTON arose. In addition, Kuraray was faced with a rising need for a local R&D facility to both gather information on advanced U.S. technologies and to conduct research and analysis of U.S. markets, in support of companywide R&D.
In response, Kuraray moved forward with the construction and establishment of KRTC (USA), an R&D facility capable of conducting development related to both EVAL and SEPTON, while also supporting the Company's corporate R&D.

Kuraray Senior Managing Director Koichi Kushida (responsible for R&D) made the following remarks at the April 29 opening ceremony.
"We believe that we must provide innovations in materials that are responsive to customer needs if we are to expand our business. Innovation is a different matter from simple improvement, requiring R&D capabilities that are grounded in creativity, while market competitiveness derives from innovative products, which become de facto standards and grow to become world-leading businesses. This is our goal, and to achieve it we are vigorously seeking ties and collaboration with other firms."
KRTC (USA) is a first step toward an R&D network on a global scale, encompassing North America, Japan, and Europe. Through this network, we will create new innovations in materials.

Kuraray will make full use of the capabilities of KRTC (USA) to meet the needs of the North American market in its EVAL and SEPTON businesses. Together with this, we want to accelerate corporate R&D, and to tie this to the opening and expansion of new business domains.

Kuraray Research and Technical Center, USA (KRTC)

1. Location
Pasadena, Texas (on EVALCA's grounds)
2. Structure
New two-story building with total floor space of approximately 2,200m² , combined with existing floor space of 1,200m² for a total of 3,400m².
3. Total investment
US$8.5 million
4. Employees
23 (of which four are seconded employees from Japan)