Simultaneous dedication to practical technology and academic research

Both Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries Corporation, and Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (the forerunner of today's Toyota Motor Corporation) strongly believed that practical technology and academic research are two sides of the same coin. Toyota’s foundation was rooted in the desire to contribute to the nation through industry as well as the concept of production to benefit society. For Toyota, the backing provided by academic research was extremely important. Regardless of the business environment, both Sakichi and Kiichiro supplemented their roles as company managers with a passion for research that remained constant throughout their lives. Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc. was established to support the Toyota group. It exists at the center of a family of companies engaged in industrial innovation, an identity that will remain unchanged into the future.

Mr. Koga Scene from interview

Chief Executive Officer
Nobuhiko Koga

The role of our company is to act as the central research facility of the Toyota group. In that role, we fulfill Kiichiro’s dual objective of developing practical technology while carrying out academic research. To build a vehicle, you have to combine a wide range of materials and components. We are founded on the idea that, to create ever-better products of all kinds, you need a research facility that truly appreciates the concept of cars and understands everything, from materials and machining processes to functions and testing.

Mr. Nakanishi Scene from interview

President / Chief Research Officer
Koukichi Nakanishi

Venturing into new fields

Since the 1970s, we have emphasized vehicle research to help develop and grow the core automotive business of the Toyota group. Now, Toyota is in the process of actualizing the urban Woven City concept as a platform for its transformation into a mobility company. To realize this transformation, we need to expand our research fields from conventional areas of expertise such as machinery, materials, electricity, and communications, to fields that will help to build the future, such as bio- and human technology, mathematics, and even social systems.

Venturing into new fields

In this transformation, our roles are to adapt to the new CASE technologies that will form the basis for cars in the future, and to provide technologies to help achieve our sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly the goal of carbon neutrality. In addition, we will continue to provide technologies to society via the Toyota group, including technologies capable of drastically changing conventional materials and structures, technologies that function to enhance human well-being, technologies that can be used in the cities of the future, as well as fundamental technologies based on new scientific and engineering knowledge that will be critical for the future of society. As a specific example, we are continuing our efforts to practically adopt the catalyst technologies that we have been nurturing since the 1970s for emissions purification to the fields of energy conversion and health. At the same time, we are taking on the challenge of fully understanding and applying the latest weapons of quantum and scientific mathematical technologies.

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Networking and agility

To work across a wide range of research fields, we need an extensive human network. It is important to build an agile network capable of helping individual researchers to overcome obstacles, create connections, learn from their mistakes, and improve. We want to bring in people who are skilled networkers and people with a great capacity for joy. Our aim is to build a field in which these people can work with enjoyment.

Thank you for your understanding and continuing support for Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.

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