News Release


September 5, 2018

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation

JXNMM Concludes Collaboration Agreement with Tohoku University

Donation of Research Building to Become World’s First Base for Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration in Next-Generation Wiring Materials Technology

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation (President: Shigeru Oi; “JXNMM”) has concluded an organizational collaboration and cooperation agreement with Tohoku University (President: Hideo Ohno) today.

JXNMM has actively collaborated with Tohoku University on several occasions in the past, including its investment in June this year in Material Concept Inc., an academic start-up focusing on copper paste that originated at the university. With the further strengthening of JXNMM’s organizational ties with Tohoku University, which aims to foster new open innovation through industry-academic collaboration under its policy of Practice-Oriented Research and Education, the two organizations will leverage their mutual human resources, research outcomes, facilities, and equipment with the aim of R&D and human resources development, with the goal of contributing to the development of society as a whole.

As part of this collaboration, JXNMM has made the decision to build a new research building at Tohoku University’s new Aobayama campus and donate it to the university around the end of March, 2020.

It is JXNMM’s hope that this research building will bring together industry, academic, and government organizations, such as companies and research institutes from Japan and abroad, including start-ups, and become a base for industry-academia-government collaboration in innovative material technologies and non-ferrous industry-related fields. This includes the Interconnect Advanced Technology Center (ICAT), which will create innovations in the field of next-generation wiring materials technologies.

Before the new building is built, from the 2019 academic year, JXNMM will launch a joint research course on next-generation wiring materials with Tohoku University, led by the university’s Professor Junichi Koike. It is hoped that the outcomes of this course will further progress the activities at the new research base described above. Subjects under consideration for inclusion in the course include (1) ultrafine/low-resistance wiring materials, (2) the development of electrode materials for adoption in three-dimensional transistor structures, (3) the development of organic compound materials and vapor-phase growth methods for the realization of ultrafine wiring formation, and (4) the development of ultrafine wiring formation methods using dry processes.

Through this organizational collaboration and cooperation agreement with Tohoku University, the entire JXNMM Group, including group companies Toho Titanium Co., Ltd. and TATSUTA Electric Wire and Cable Co., Ltd., will actively engage in the development and stable supply of materials that will support Society 5.0 and in human resources development. In this way, it hopes to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society in a diverse range of fields, from the development of resources for the non-ferrous metal industry to recycling.


Outline of Research Building (TBC)
  1. Total construction costs: Approx. ¥1 billion
  2. Planned construction site: Inside Tohoku University’s new Aobayama Campus
  3. Total floor area: 3,000 m2 over four stories
  4. Estimated completion date: March 2020

(Artist’s rendering of completed building)

Outline of Material Concept Inc.
Head Office: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture (on Tohoku University campus)
Representative Director: Miho Koike; Directors: Professor Junichi Koike and four others
Academic start-up focusing on copper paste that originated at Tohoku University.
Established in April 2013. With investments from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd., and others, the company is engaged in developing and preparing for mass-production of copper paste.
June 2018 Received investment from JXNMM
August 2018 Received Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award in the Awards for Academic Startups