Eat well, live well. Sustaining people, living things and the Earth.
The Ajinomoto Group is a world leader in manufacturing food products and producing amino acids. Our perspective is global, and our commitment is to people and society. Beginning with our initial market entry in 1909 with Ajinomoto®, the world's first umami seasoning, monosodium glutamate (MSG), we have provided innovative food products and solutions to the world. Umami is based on the amino acid glutamic acid. Amino acids form the foundation of our R&D efforts and have led to our development and growth of cutting-edge bioscience and fine chemical technology. These products and technologies have in turn formed the core of our areas of expertise, operation, and distinctive amino science, and have led to new materials and products with high added value and the creation of new business models.
In our R&D domains of Consumer Foods and AminoScience, we are engaged in our distinctive specialty of creating value-added products not found elsewhere. In addition, we are committed to providing solutions and meeting the challenges of Global sustainability, Food resources, and Healthy living that are facing societies around the world.
Our investment in R&D is substantial and forms the foundation for developing value-added products. In FY 2014, JPY32.2 billion (consolidated results; 3.2% of sales) was spent on R&D. Our century of experience has made it clear that R&D forms the basis for the business growth of the Ajinomoto Group.
The R&D contingent – 1,700 strong
The number of R&D workers in the Ajinomoto Group, which was approximately 100 in 1956, has increased to more than 1,700 with the growth of the business. As an enterprise focusing on food, the scale and size of our R&D team is unparalleled and provides the driving force for the continued growth of the Ajinomoto Group.
All of the R&D personnel are leading experts and specialists in food products, fermentation and biotechnology, biology, chemistry, engineering, or other key disciplines, and approximately 10% hold doctorates.
Technology and IP that provide products and
services to people worldwide
We currently hold over 4,000 patents in Japan and overseas. The Ajinomoto Group is committed to broadening its proprietary knowledge base and to improving its strategic intellectual property portfolio.
Our underlying goal in maximizing our IP value is to help provide better products and services.
R&D Expenditures by Business Segment
Global R&D network
In the Ajinomoto Group, several dozen R&D bases in fourteen countries perform lateral technological collaboration to achieve highly specialized solutions for global markets. These bases include Group companies dedicated to R&D in Russia and China, and a strategic base for open innovation in North America.
Key bases are also located in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, the U.S., France, and China to support the development of production technologies and products optimized for specific regions.
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An R&D system with a total Group perspective linked to the customer
Ajinomoto Group R&D encompasses the Institute for Innovation, the Institute of Food Sciences and Technologies, and the Research Institute for Bioscience Products and Fine Chemicals of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. in Japan. These institutes are also closely tied to the R&D bases of other Group companies in Japan and around the globe. Our R&D focus ranges from the next generation of fundamental technologies to the optimization of current products to meet the needs and preferences of specific regions. Our perspective is the perspective of the entire Group.
The R&D Planning Dept. of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. plays a central role in coordinating and managing the Group R&D in terms of research theme setting, evaluation, and resource allocation, developing R&D global human resources and networks, and supporting business operations management during product market launches.
The R&D organization and its members, in coordination with business operations, are promoting the growth of the Open & Linked Innovation network and working with customers to create new value.