Opening Up a New Horizon through Research Collaboration!

Opening Up a New Horizon through Research Collaboration!

Nippi Incorporated
Dr. Shunji Hattori

On January 26, 1960, Dr. Tomio Nishihara from Nippi (formally known as Japan Institute of Leather Research) succeeded in the solubilization of collagen into liquid form. This was the first report of collagen solubilization in the world. Subsequently, a patent for this method was obtained in 1963. 50 years since then, Nippi Research Institute of Biomatrix has been conducting basic and applied research on collagen. They focus on the development of collagen processing technology for medical treatments and applications in cosmetic and food industries. Their research activities are also very much open to collaboration with academic researchers.

Anticipating Innovative Ideas

In fall 2010, Nippi created the “Leave a Nest Grant, Nippi Awards” to actively seek new ideas for collagen research. Many researchers throughout Japan, especially those with engineering background, applied for the grant. With specialists from different fields providing new ideas, a new dimension of collagen research is revealed. Dr. Hiroaki Onoe from Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo works on engineering technology for regenerative medicine. In his research, he uses micro-machine to process cells into fibrous state to restore blood vessels and other parts of body. He applied to Nippi Award proposing that collagen can be the glue to strengthen the structure of processed cells. “I never thought this application before,” says Dr. Hattori, the head of the Nippi Research Institute of Biomatrix.

Special Group of Reviewers

The uniqueness of the Nippi Award is in its reviewing process. Applications for the award
are thoroughly examined by all members of the research institute. There are no specific
criteria for the review. Instead, reviewers are told to “choose the interesting research ideas,
they want to work on”. This particular method is highly rated high by the applications. By
reviewing the applications, all members of Nippi has a chance to exercise judgment skills
and learn from the applications the way to write a persuasive grant proposal. For Dr. Hattori,
researchers’ passion have is an important criteria. “I can’t describe it very well, but I will
vote for a proposal with passion and original ideas.”

Brand New Potential from New Collaboration

“In research collaboration between industry and academia, there shouldn’t be fixed roles
or ways for the two to collaborate. We, the industry side, do need to come up with ways
to commercialize the research seeds in the end, however, in the process of collaboration
the two can work together, freely stimulating each other’s scientific curiosity.” Regardless
of where you belong whether company or academia, a researcher is always a researcher.
Academia and industries can utilize each other’s strength for the joint project, that’s Nippi’s
way. Let’s open up a new horizon through research collaboration with Nippi.

Nippi's recent visit to South East Asia

Career Talk Seminar in Indonesia
2012 October
– Institute of Human Virology and Cancer Biology of the University of Indonesia (IHVCB-UI)

Up Coming Events in Singapore
2013 August
3-4 Aug
– Science Workshops: Singapore Science Festival, Singapore Science Center
5 Aug. 14:00~
-Stem Cell Society Seminars: Biopolis


Shunji Hattori Ph.D.
Director of Nippi Research Institute of Biomatrix
Graduated Tokyo Medical and Dental University
received Ph.D. in 1985. He joined Nippi Inc. in
1989 and then became the Director of Nippi
Research Institute of Biomatrix in 2008.