Japan’s technology in the field of functional materials is highly regarded around the world, and is one of the key areas of technology that sustains Japan’s competitiveness in the industry. Requirements of the multifunctionality of functional materials, such as composites, continue to grow, and these materials are becoming increasingly more complex.
Researchers in developing countries are actively conducting research on functional materials, whereas research and development activities in Japan are beginning to slow down. If Japan is to remain a world leader in this field, it must accelerate its research and development activities.
Conventional methods for developing functional materials involve a process of trial-and-error based on knowledge and experience and require large amounts of time. In contrast, the newest methods for developing functional materials involve efficient searches for materials using simulation, informatics, AI, etc. There is a need for research and development activities in which methods such as simulation, deep learning, and diverse analysis, and methods that can estimate material functionality using data mining based on large quantities of data via process technology and simulations can be applied to the development of materials.
On July 12, 2016, we established the Research Association of High-Throughput Design and Development for Advanced Functional Materials under the approval of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The association consisted of 16 member corporations when it was established, and expanded by two additional corporations on May 26, 2017. Our association constructs core technologies for materials development by combining advanced computational science, high-throughput prototyping and process technology, and pioneering measurement and evaluation technology blending simulation and AI, in contrast to conventional research and development methods. Our association strives to achieve reductions in the length of time required for discovering and developing revolutionary functional materials.
Through these activities, our association will make it possible to develop functional materials in a way that rapidly responds to the needs of society, and will contribute to strengthening Japan’s competitiveness in industry.
December 1, 2017
Chief Director of the Research Association of High-Throughput Design and Development for Advanced Functional Materials