Saint-Gobain and the CNRS open a joint research center at the NIMS in Japan


Saint-Gobain and the CNRS open a joint research center at the NIMS in Japan

October 28th, 2014


Saint-Gobain, the CNRS (French National Scientific Research Center) and the NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science) have just opened the Laboratory for Innovative Key Materials and Structures (LINK) in the presence of the French Ambassador to Japan, Thierry Dana. The aim of this international research center is to develop new materials that could have applications in several of Saint-Gobain’s industrial activities, in particular ceramics, grains and powders, crystals, glazing and abrasives. Linked to both Saint-Gobain and the CNRS, the center is housed at the NIMS in Tsukuba in Japan, one of the world’s leading materials research laboratories. This is the first time Saint-Gobain and the CNRS have opened a joint research center abroad.

The new laboratory is the result of a long cooperation between the three partners: Saint-Gobain, the CNRS and the NIMS. In France, the CNRS and Saint-Gobain have two Joint Research Units based in Saint-Gobain’s research centers in Aubervilliers and Cavaillon. Saint-Gobain and NIMS researchers have been working together in Japan for five years at the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials, housed at the NIMS in Tsukuba. Finally, after more than 10 years of close cooperation between researchers from the CNRS, the University of Rennes 1 and the NIMS, 2011 saw the introduction of scientific workshops that alternate between France and Japan.


The new project is based on an innovative collaboration model involving high-level researchers from Saint-Gobain, the NIMS and the CNRS. The LINK’s research will focus on creating new materials, including their synthesis, elaboration processes and studies on their physical-chemical properties, closely linked, in France, with the Institute for Chemical Sciences in Rennes, which involves the CNRS, University of Rennes 1, ENSCR and INSA. This research will receive a strong scientific support from teams from the NIMS, which offer unique know-how in structural characterization of materials and modelling of their properties.

The project forms part of the program to strengthen Saint-Gobain’s upstream research, implemented at an international level in conjunction with universities and public-sector research institutes to expand the group’s skills and recruit talented young scientists.

The CNRS already has three international research units in Japan, the Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronics Systems (LIMMS), the Joint Robotics Laboratory and the Japanese-French Laboratory for Informatics (JFLI). The creation of the LINK therefore consolidates the CNRS’s position in Japan.


About Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building and high-performance materials, providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2013 sales of €42 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has nearly 190,000 employees. 
For more information about Saint-Gobain, please visit or download the new “Saint-Gobain Shareholder” application for tablet and smartphone.

About the CNRS

Founded in 1939, the French national center for scientific research is a public research institution. It produces knowledge and makes it available to serve society. With more than 33,000 employees, distribution throughout France, the CNRS produces science in all fields of knowledge, relying on its 1100 research and service units. Many eminent researchers have worked, at some point in their career, in CNRS research labs. With 20 Nobel laureates and 12 Fields prize winners, the CNRS has a long tradition of excellence.
Further information on the CNRS is available at

About the NIMS

The NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science) is Japan’s only Independent Administrative Institution (IAI) that specializes in materials science. It is responsible for managing the basic research and development of materials science and furthering the level of expertise in the field. To reach this objective, the NIMS works with other research centers in Japan and around the world. The NIMS also publicly disseminates academic research results and promotes their practical use. The National Institute for Materials Science also educates and trains outstanding and distinguished scientists and engineers in the field of materials science and engineering.
Further information on the NIMS is available at

Press contacts:

  • Saint-Gobain:
  • Sophie Chevallon: +33 1 47 62 30 48
  • Susanne Trabitzsch: + 33 1 47 62 43 25
  • CNRS:
  • Elodie Vignier: +33 1 44 96 44 42
  • NIMS:
  • Naoki Ohashi: +81 29 860 48 67

Analyst/Investor Relations:

  • Saint-Gobain:
  • Gaetano Terrasini: +33 1 47 62 32 52
  • Vivien Dardel: +33 1 47 62 44 29
  • Marine Huet: +33 1 47 62 30 93