Support for the development of new technologies and the creation of new markets in response to changes in social needs.
Our group have the Research and Development Center as a research organization for next-generation technology in response to rapid changes in society and the market.
The mission of the R&D Center is to anticipate the progress of technology in Japan and overseas and the changes in society, to promote the development of next-generation technologies, and to create new markets. To do this, the Center integrates the R&D activities of Group companies in Japan and overseas to improve efficiency and maximize synergy effects. The Center also have branch office in US to collect and analyze cutting-edge technological trends. We are also strengthening our relationships with business partners in overseas by dispatching employees to universities outside Japan, including Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
The R & D Center of the Engineering Headquarters (Saitama-shi, Saitama Prefecture) is the core organization of group's R & D activities. This section covers from the Group’s R & D activities management and administration to intellectual property strategies.
We also have other research and development organizations in Japan, such as the Core-Labo Testing Center (Saitama-shi, Saitama Prefecture), which is a research institute for soil property evaluation technology, the OYO Bionomical Engineering Institute (Miharu-machi, Fukushima Prefecture), which researches the effects of civil engineering projects on the ecological environment, and the Three-Dimensional Exploration and Testing Center (Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture), which is a dedicated test site for the development and improving of BIM/CIM* and the realization of a three-dimensional mapping of underground facilities.
※ An abbreviation for Building Information Modelling/Construction Information Modelling. It is a type of innovation that aims to optimize the entire construction production system through cooperation and development that shares three-dimensional models at each stage of the engineering and construction process, such as survey, design, construction, maintenance, and management. As its utilization spreads around the world, global initiatives to create international standards and industry foundation classes for BIM are being developed at a rapid pace.
In recent years, many construction accidents caused by insufficient information about the situation underground have been reported, and social concern about geological risk has been increasing. The Three-Dimensional Exploration and Testing Center was established in April 2019 in response to such social needs.
In order to reduce the risk of accidents caused by insufficient information about the situation underground, the Center aims to create databases of ground information, to grasp and share accurate positions of underground facilities, to improve underground exploration technologies, and to establish three-dimensional ground models. The center site has roads in which various structures and simulated cavities are buried beforehand, and fields in which various sensors are installed. It is possible to experiment whether the underground facilities and the underlying ground, which are reproduced same conditions as actual roads, can be visualized three- dimensionally with sufficient accuracy depending on the buried location, shape, and surrounding soil conditions.
The Core Laboratory Experiment Center (“Core-Labo”) was established in 1992 and is one of the largest soil property evaluation and research facility in the private sectors. It has facilities regarding soil/rock tests and chemical analysis in testing rooms of 3,000 m 2 in total. In particular, in response to the needs of society and the market, we have built special test equipment that has not yet existed in the world, and have supported the development of a number of new technologies in the fields of civil engineering, natural resources, and the environment.
In recent years, we have actively participated in research on next-generation technologies related to the environment and energy, such as the extraction of methane hydrate and the Carbon-dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS). As for methane hydrate, we have made indoor testing equipment to generate methane hydrate and to reproduce subsea condition in the depth of more than 1,000m for physical property tests of methane hydrate. For CCS, we have also developed testing equipment to examine the sealing capability and penetration characteristics of rock CO 2 under special conditions of 2,000m underground.
The OYO Bionomical Engineering Institute was established in Miharu-machi, Fukushima Prefecture in 1999 with the aim of realizing a sustainable society in which human development activities coexist with nature. In particular, we are focusing on research activities such as changes in ecology, water quality, and river bed materials through the development of dams and rivers. The results of those research activities are presented to academic societies and academic books in Japan for use in assessing the environmental impact of various businesses.
We are also actively participating in local environmental conservation activities, including lecturers of comprehensive environmental education at elementary and junior high schools, the creation of a nature guidebook, and the planning and operation of local nature observation stations.
(Photo left: Ecology Survey/Right: OYO Bionomical Engineering Institute)