Innovation is the reason
we exist

As Sumitomo Chemical’s only corporate research centre outside Japan, our challenge is to find the ‘next big thing’


Our unique position within Sumitomo Chemical gives us the scope to combine genuine scientific curiosity with the satisfaction of creating solutions to real world problems.

  • CDT encourages and promotes spontaneous and targeted innovation
  • Our multifunctional teams are rewarded for individual contributions made
  • We collaborate with partners in the Cambridge ecosphere and internationally, to share complementary skills and facilities

“Innovation is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought”

(Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi, first to isolate Vitamin C)

Open innovation and collaboration with partner companies and university groups is key to accelerating the development of technology, and to the translation of research into products.

Why work with us?

  • We have a track record of delivering highly successful collaborations
  • Our range of interests is wide – we are an innovation conduit for Sumitomo Chemical with interests in environment, food, resources and energy, quality of living and health
  • We have the stamina to work at multiple Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) – we strive to get our projects to commercialisation as quickly as possible


We have experience in working with many different sources of funding:

  • Grant funded projects (e.g. from governments) – to develop technologies towards commercialisation
  • Joint developments (JDAs) – with a focus on the optimised development of specific products
  • Technical advisory relationships – general advisory work for early stage developments
  • We nurture and promote academic partnerships through funding of post-docs and studentships
Typical PartnersPartnership Options
Collaborate on a technical development
  • Academia
  • SMEs
  • Contract manufacturers
  • External funding (e.g. Innovate UK or other sources)
  • CDT funded
Collaborate with potential customersEnd users of Sumitomo Chemical technologyJoint development
Bespoke material developmentMaterial or component manufacturer
  • CDT licenses out IP
  • Sumitomo retains manufacturing rights for the materials developed

The best of both worlds

  • We have the backing, resources, and ambition of a major materials multinational – Sumitomo Chemical
  • We retain the agility of the start-up company that invented polymer light emitting diode technology and then developed them for the market