Message from Shoichiro Toyoda, President

Shoichiro Toyoda

The Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute(Incorporated Foundation) was established in September, 1940 in Shibaura, Tokyo with the aim of “conducting and applying physical and chemical research in order to contribute to the progress and development of science and industry”.

The founder was Kiichiro Toyoda who established Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. in 1937.

Kiichiro states in the foundation prospectus / operation plan:

  • We would like to endeavour to steadily establish an academic base
  • We would like to conduct independent research without restrictions on research categories
  • We would like to emphasize scientific principles which have a tendency to be disregarded
  • As a result of our main activity which is the quest for fundamental principles, we will promote the industrialization of objects that are productive and lucrative, we will also improve objects that promote scientific principle development and, by means of this, contribute to society and the State

The research institute that was established in 1940 with high ideals and over 30 staff actively progressed with research in 32 fields including batteries, carrying on the tradition of the Toyoda Laboratory for Storage Batteries in the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation which embodied the hopes of Sakichi Toyoda of developing batteries in 1926, the practical application of wireless direction finders and the cultivation of piezo electric effect elements using ferroelectric Rochelle salt.


In 1941, the year after its establishment, Japan entered the Second World War and, while this influenced the operation of the research institute, along with progress in fundamental research, products that used the above were developed, efforts were made to acquire patents and by 1943, the total number of staff reached 69.


In the economic confusion of the post-war period, the research institute received aid from the government as a research foundation designated by the Ministry of Education and further, through continuous support from Toyota affiliated companies, the research institute was able to continue its research even though it had to greatly reduce the scale. Despite the era, the institute succeeded in the practical application of semi-conductor strain-gauges in 1957.


In 1961, in aiming for new innovation, the research institute was moved from Tokyo to the Toyota Central R&D Labs in Nagoya and it explored paths that allowed contribution to the promotion of science and industry with little capital and efficient operation.


In 1963, the institute set up "designated research project" and started research activities conducted by the research institute itself. Following this, project contents were reviewed in sequence and now the main research activities are "research fellow project" in which senior researchers who have accumulated knowledge at research institutes and universities, etc., progress with research by themselves, "specially promoted project" that explores next generation research tasks, and further, "the Kariya invention club for school children" that cultivates young people who will shoulder the next generation.


The Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute has recently made a new beginning as a public interest incorporated foundation. From now on, we are in the process of making new decisions that should accomplish the prescribed projects in accordance with the spirit of establishment so we would be grateful for your suggestions or advice concerning the future of our institute as a research foundation.