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Sumitomo Chemical and Purdue University Expand Joint Research Projects

Nov. 28, 2016

Purdue University and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. will expand the boundaries of their existing joint research projects and launch a new project related to advanced agriculture.

Sumitomo Chemical and Purdue have already undertaken joint research in multiple fields. In the project undertaken with Alexander Wei, professor of chemistry, and Chongli Yuan, associate professor of chemical engineering, the two organizations aim to develop next-generation analysis technology in order to create a low-cost diagnostic platform that can quickly and easily analyze a variety of chemical substances. Sumitomo Chemical is working with Jonathan Wilker, professor of chemistry, to develop a biomimetic adhesive inspired by creatures that have excellent adhesive strength even in water, such as mussels and oysters. The adhesive is expected to have applications across a broad range of fields, from electronics to construction.

In the newly launched advanced agriculture project, Sumitomo Chemical is working jointly with Jian Jin, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, to develop image diagnosis technology to look at the shape of a plant, such as its roots or leaves, and analyze which crop protection chemicals or fertilizers are needed. The technology could also be used to better understand plant growth and response to stress and to accelerate the development of materials that contribute to improving the productivity of agriculture.

"This is the beginning of a signature partnership," said Dan Hirleman, Purdue’s chief corporate and global partnerships officer. "By combining strengths, we can see research projects through to successful products with the potential to impact our daily lives, from the energy and electronics we use to the medical care we receive to the food we eat."

Ikuzo Ogawa, senior managing executive officer at Sumitomo Chemical (responsible for technology and R&D) , said: "Sumitomo Chemical is actively promoting open innovation, working to develop solutions that meet society’s future needs. Through these joint research projects with Purdue University, we look forward to creating the technologies that will be able to support a
variety of industries."

About Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sumitomo Chemical is one of Japan’s leading chemical companies, offering a diverse range of products globally in the fields of petrochemicals, energy and functional materials, IT-related chemicals and materials, health and crop science products, and pharmaceuticals. The company’s consolidated net sales for fiscal 2015 were approximately 2.1 trillion yen, and it has around 31,000 employees. For further information on Sumitomo Chemical, please visit the corporate website at

About Purdue University

Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the university has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward. As an international leader in research, Purdue connects undergraduate students and graduate students with key faculty and projects that make a global impact.

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