- The new center will bring together all beauty research and development functions from within the Kao Group to reinforce globally competitive value creation combining functional and sensory perspectives -
On September 7, 2016, Kao Corporation opened a new research facility, Beauty Research & Innovation Center, at its Odawara Complex cosmetics research and production site in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In July 2015, Kao also constructed a new factory building at the same complex, bringing the total amount invested since last year in equipment and facilities for the enhancement of research and production at the Odawara Complex to about 13 billion yen.
The Odawara Complex will have the largest range of research functions of any cosmetics research and production site in Asia.
1) The center concentrates the Kao Group's cosmetic research functions in one location. The building features un-partitioned workspaces on each floor, with open internal staircases connecting all floors. This layout facilitates communication, enabling Kao to make research advances by maximizing use of the Kao Group's research assets and to further develop each brand's unique identity by deepening cross-departmental understanding.
Kao will also undertake innovative research using a combination of scientific and Kansei research approaches.
2) Kao's Beauty Research & Innovation Center is the first R&D facility belonging to a Japanese company to use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) technology. Using fMRI, Kao researchers can work towards innovative value creation by making visible and analyzing neural processes such as emotion, affect and decision-making. Kao aims to create value in the realm of beauty that is not only grounded in deep scientific expertise but also captivating on an emotional and sensory level.
3) Within the grounds of the research center, Kao has also built COCOLAB, an interactive laboratory that allows people to see and experience Kansei values that are difficult to express in language, such as beauty and emotion.
Kao launched its cosmetics business in 1982, and Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. became a member of the Kao Group in February 2006. Since then, the Kao Group has focused on enhancing and deepening the unique identity of each of its beauty brands while working to consolidate and link its infrastructure and distribution bases, undertake joint procurement of raw materials, make coordinated proposals to retailers, implement personnel exchanges, and integrate sales operations.
Kao has also been deepening research and manufacturing cooperation with Kanebo Cosmetics and in 2013 began gradually integrating the two organizations with the goal of providing women of the world with beauty that is a step above in terms of quality, value, and safety.
The opening of the Beauty Research & Innovation Center is a sign of the Kao Group's determination to build an even more robust foundation for the future growth of its beauty business.
･ Location: 5-3-28 Kotobuki-cho, Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Located inside Kao Corporation's Odawara Complex
･ Structure and Size: A four-story steel-frame building
･ Total floor area: 16,594.3㎡
Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 35,000 people worldwide and has more than 120 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.