Materials informatics is an approach used for efficient material design that makes use of information science technology. Its development has brought about a revolution in the field of materials, though advancements have continued mainly by trial and error. Kao has been actively engaged in materials informatics research, including investigations of prediction of the physicality of catalysts and analysis of the examined region to provide more effective electron microscopic imaging by use of deep learning (Fig. 1).
In addition to materials design, our researchers have been tackling challenging themes related to the application of informatics to product development, such as detergent, shampoo, and cosmetics. For example, a study was performed to examine the relationship of compound formulation with the somatosensory system using a model to predict sensations such as moisture and freshness by quantification of related values.
In the rapidly evolving field of informatics, an important requirement is constant enhancement of available technology. For that purpose, we are encouraging joint research activities with universities and startups, and providing opportunities for free discussions among professors and research associates working in cutting-edge research areas.
The Product Development Research Laboratories and Fundamental Technology Research Laboratories of Kao benefit from an environment of free discussion that allows for easy information exchange, which is considered highly suitable for advancing development of materials informatics.