2022-23 President

Prof. Dai KITAMOTO (Director-General, AIST Chugoku, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan)

January 2023

New Year’s Greetings“The Future Is Unpredictable, but Let’s Take the First Step”

Happy New Year. I was born in the year of the rabbit of the Chinese zodiac, although you cannot imagine it from my appearance. Finally reaching the 6th round of the zodiac, the second half of my life has just begun. As my seniors always say, things happened in the blink of an eye after we graduated from university and became members of society. In my case, it’s hard to say, “I ran with all my heart and soul.” I simply feel that the world has moved fast enough while I enjoyed meeting and knowing various people.

I have been involved in various research and development activities, but more recently, I have been working on the development of new technologies and products that support a comfortable life based on oleo science. Research on biosurfactants turned out to be my lifework, contrary to my initial thoughts. Although I did not have any expertise in surface chemistry, I was stimulated by research on bioplastics and started this research in 1990, when petrochemical products were still being widely used in all kinds of commodities. At the same time, each manufacturer made persistent efforts to reduce the environmental impact of synthetic surfactants. For this reason, senior members of our Society gave me a lot of negative comments, saying “There is no need for such biomaterials,” and “The cost is out of the question.”

However, since the beginning of this century, the tide has gradually turned, and from around 2010, the terms “sustainable society” and “sustainable development goals (SDGs)” have become commonplace. Especially in Europe, “botanic” and “organic” have been basic concepts for cosmetics and personal care products since the early part of this century.

A few years ago, the problem of plastics in the ocean became a major issue, and today, the conversion of plant resources into chemical products and their “circular economy” has become the most important environmental issue globally.

The research on biosurfactants started by us has led to commercialization through long-term cooperation with companies, integrated with the tailwinds of the times and advances in basic technology. Initially, our developed biosurfactants were marketed as cosmetic materials, but now they are expanding domestically and internationally into both personal care and agricultural fields. Additionally, along with the expansion of user needs, major overseas companies are entering the field one after another, and the competition in product development is intensifying.

As is often said, “New technologies need to be introduced to the market as soon as possible, but if they are introduced too early, they will not meet current needs and will not go well.” It is not easy to decide when to take the first step. Of course, we do not know how long the needs and markets we see today will last; the same goes for whether the research we have started will succeed.

Once, I heard from a CTO of a company: “In R&D, the key to not failing is to keep trying. If you do that, you will never meet the end of failure.” I was strangely convinced that that choice was inappropriate from the perspective of corporate management and that there was no other correct answer. In short, we can say the following: “No one can predict the future, so believe in yourself and take the first step and keep walking.” This may be the gateway to success.

The 8th wave of infection by COVID-19 arrived at the end of 2022, and the pandemic continues. However, thanks to the broad understanding and cooperation of our members, we could successfully hold various events last year, including the annual meeting commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Society. I would once again like to express my gratitude to everyone involved.

This year, we would like to deploy the experience we have gained so far to expand the scope of the activities of our Society to support a comfortable life. This year’s annual meeting will be held face-to-face in Kochi Prefecture. I am looking forward to reuniting and interacting with everyone after a long time, so I would appreciate it if you could join us.

As I mentioned in my greetings at the annual meeting last year, our Society is a crossroads where people who deal with science and technology closely related to our lives collaborate in an open atmosphere. It is a unique organization that can serve as a starting point for the creation of science, products, and services that contribute to a comfortable everyday life.

Based on this vision, I pray that 2023 will be a wonderful year for all of you. I hope you all take the first step, just like a rabbit jumping.

2017-18 President Takeshi KAWAI

Professor, Tokyo University of Science

The Asian Conference on Oleo Science 2017

The Japan Oil Chemists’ Society will organize the 2nd Asian Conference on Oleo Science (ACOS 2017) and the 56th Annual Meeting of the Japan Oil Chemists’ Society (the 56th Annual Meeting of JOCS) on 11-13 September, 2017 at Kagurazaka campus of Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo,Japan.

for the Contributors of the Journal of Oleo Science

Important Announcement for the Contributors of the Journal of Oleo Science

At 0:00 AM on April 1, 2016 (Japan time),
the Journal of Oleo Science will start charging Publication Charge for each case; 1: 20,000 yen (within 8 pages. /more than 8 pages, additional charge is necessary; 2,000 yen per page) for Members of Japan Oil Chemists’ Society (JOCS) (including Asian Members and Support Members),

Asian Conference on Oleo Science

Asian Conference on Oleo Science (2014, Sapporo, Japan)

The Japan Oil Chemists’ Society will organize the Asian Conference on Oleo Science on September 8-10, 2014 in Royton Sapporo, Sapporo, Japan. Very welcome to this interesting and exciting scientific meeting on oleo science including oil, fat & lipid chemistry, detergent & interface science, processing developments in oil & fat technology, lipid biochemistry, nutrition & biotechnology, biodiesel & biofuel, lipid oxidation & antioxidants, analytical techniques & application, food & feed nutrition, and so on. The meeting is open to the public and scientific communities in the world.