Sumitomo Chemical announced that it will strengthen research and development capabilities in North America for its health and crop sciences business through expanding related facilities.

Sumitomo Chemical's two of its Group companies, Valent U.S.A. Corporation (Valent U.S.A.), and Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC), will be expanding their respective research and development facilities as outlined below. This move will enable Sumitomo Chemical to accelerate research and development aimed at providing unique and innovative solutions based on the two technological disciplines of health and crop science, i.e. plant protection chemicals and biorationals.

Sumitomo Chemical has research and development facilities for plant protection products in Japan, the U.S., and France, through which the Company is making incessant efforts to create new active ingredients. In addition to fortifying research and development functions in North America, the Company is currently working to build a new research and development base in Brazil, the world’s largest market for plant protection products as well as a new synthesis research building in Japan. Going forward, the Company will continue to strengthen its research and development capabilities globally for its health and crop sciences business.

1. VBC relocating its research facility
VBC will relocate its existing research facility and build a new unit as Biorational Research Center in Illinois, U.S.A.
VBC was established in 2001 by Sumitomo Chemical acquiring a certain business unit from Abbott Laboratories. Since then, the company has expanded its business to over 90 countries around the world, establishing its presence as the leading company in microbial insecticides, plant growth regulators and other products. The Biorational Research Center will be built near VBC’s headquarters and expected to play a key role in better unifying activities of marketing and sales with research initiatives. Sumitomo Chemical will position the Center as one of its global research and development base for its Health & Crop Sciences Sector. It will work closely with the Company's Health & Crop Sciences Research Laboratory in Japan, thereby further strengthening Sumitomo Chemical's research and development on biorationals.

2. Valent U.S.A. building a new field testing station
Valent U.S.A. will build a new field testing station, the Mid-West Agricultural Research Center (MWARC), in the mid-western U.S. state of Illinois, in addition to its existing research center in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi. MWARC will accelerate product development as it allows field testing to be conducted in-house and in customers’ agricultural environment. It will also facilitate advancing multifaceted and comprehensive research and development in areas that are at the forefront of emerging fields of research, such as pest control related to the rhizosphere (an area around roots of plants), nutrient absorption, and soil environment management.