Innovation

R&D

Lion’s R&D Organization

Lion’s R&D Headquarters has laboratories with three different functions: Developmental Research, Applied Research, and Research Support. The Developmental Research Laboratories are divided into each product area, and, working in close collaboration with the product marketing divisions, undertake the development of new products. The Applied Research Laboratories engage in technological development for the application of materials and technology “seeds” to Lion products and work to discover new technologies using its knowledge of interfacial science, life science, and other areas, while seeking to make available the results of their activities for new product development. The Research Support Laboratories and Centers provide assistance for developmental and applied research in technical fields that are shared in common by Lion’s R&D activities, including packaging, flavors and fragrances, environment and safety as well as other areas. In addition, when new materials and new products are commercialized, the Production Engineering Center develops manufacturing technologies that link developmental research and production.

R&D Initiatives

Lion’s R&D Headquarters has set strategic themes to attain the objectives of its Vision 2020 plan and has kept tackling the challenges of realizing high technology objectives and technological innovation in new product development. The V-2 Plan of Vision 2020, which was originally launched in 2015, is concerned especially with reaching the maximum priority goal of “increasing profitability, ” and aims for strengthening Lion’s market position and increasing product value added. For this reason, the R&D Headquarters is working on further development of technologies in oral care and interfacial science, which are areas of particular strength for Lion, and focusing on developing high-value-added products that will lead to the further enhancement of profitability. In addition, with the goals of creating new value, creating new growth fields, and nurturing new businesses, in the healthcare field, including pharmaceuticals and functional food products, Lion is concentrating its efforts on conducting joint research with outside research organizations and pursues the development of technology “seeds,” backed by scientific evidence, including clinical trials. In its overseas business, Lion’s R&D Headquarters has been substantially stepping up collaboration with its overseas affiliates’ R&D, and, while aiming to respond to needs in local markets, is endeavoring to develop new products that will offer new value in the high-growth markets of Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. In its R&D departments, Lion is working to draw on the capabilities of the Lion Group as a whole by going beyond the existing technology fields, categories, and organizational framework in Japan and overseas and is promoting open innovation.

Initiatives for Creating New Value

Lion has clarified the correlation between the condition of the oral cavity, including the content of saliva and the depth of the periodontal pocket, etc., in clinical trials. Based on these findings, Lion has developed its Salivary Multi Test, which can measure items related to the health of teeth and gums as well as cleanliness of the oral cavity in five minutes and present the results in visual form. Lion plans to sell this testing system to dental clinics, drugstores, and health centers and thereby encourage preventive dentistry.

In addition, Lion is a participant in the COI*1 research institute at Hirosaki University and has donated a course entitled “Oral Health Care Lectures.” The Hirosaki University Research Institute (and Hirosaki University’s COI) have instituted the Iwaki Health Promotion Project*2, which is engaged in the analysis and usage of Big Data to pursue scientific evidence, and the results can be applied in the development of products and services. Research is also being conducted on sleep, including research on the relationship between the quality of sleep and overall health.

*1: The Center of Innovation. This center is looking to the shape of society 10 years in the future and conducts programs that are challenging and high risk with the support of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

*2: This project is a major undertaking, consisting of research on health and health promotional activities, that was conducted over a 10-year period starting in 2005. It was conducted in cooperation with Hirosaki University, Hirosaki City (formerly Iwaki Town), and the Comprehensive Health Diagnostic Center of Aomori Prefecture. The aim of the project was to find ways to prevent lifestyle diseases in the Iwaki district of Hirosaki City, maintain and improve the health of inhabitants, and lengthen their life expectancy.