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2020.05.19

Conclusion of Agreement on Industry-Academia Co-creation Between The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings

May 19, 2020
The University of Tokyo
Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.

#news release #next-generation technology #Company Information・Management

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Conclusion of Agreement on Industry-Academia Co-creation Between The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings

--Creating a Sustainable Smart/Remote Society Able to Coexist with the Risk of Infectious Diseases--

The University of Tokyo (President: Makoto Gonokami, hereinafter referred to as “The University of Tokyo”) and Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. (Chairman, President & CEO: Masaaki Tanaka, hereinafter referred to as “Nippon Paint”) concluded an agreement to form an industry-academia alliance at the highest level to promote comprehensive joint research and the exchange of human resources between both organizations on May 18, 2020. Through this agreement, The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint will focus on achieving the development of technology that will help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including anti-viral technologies, and technology to solve new social problems that will emerge after the end of infectious outbreaks shaped around the concept of “paint and coatings.” This agreement will also bring new technologies to the table to both build a foundation for a smart/remote society and weave together the threads to create a beautiful, attractive, and sustainable society.

The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint are pleased to announce the decision to establish a social cooperation course on “Construction of Innovative Coating Technologies” in the School of Engineering at The University of Tokyo as a concrete initiative based on the purpose of this agreement.

Photo: Signing ceremony of Agreement on Industry-Academia Co-creation  Location: The University of Tokyo Photo(Left):Makoto Gonokami, President, The University of Tokyo (Right):Masaaki Tanaka, Chairman, President & CEO, Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.

1.Purpose and Background of Industry-Academia Co-creation Alliance

The University of Tokyo is working to realize the school’s Future Society Initiative (FSI), which aims to create an inclusive society in which all have active roles to play in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. To achieve this, The University of Tokyo is taking the lead globally to solve these problems by consolidating the knowledge on campus, intensifying collaboration both inside and outside The University of Tokyo and implementing the technology created. Here, The University of Tokyo has been searching for partners who can collaborate with a vision to expand globally to achieve the SDGs.

As a leader in the engineering field, the Graduate School of Engineering at The University of Tokyo has led the drive to identify solutions to various social issues while also promoting the integration of different disciplines. Today, with the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), The University of Tokyo has launched a new initiative to enhance “engineering research that can help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus” and “engineering research focusing on a society that must coexist with the novel coronavirus which will emerge after the end of the infectious outbreak, as well as a society that will continue to prepare for the risk of unknown infectious diseases even after the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “post-corona society”).”

As the top global paint manufacturer in Asia, Nippon Paint has contributed to people’s lifestyles and the development of industries all around the world, including for buildings and detached houses, large structures such as bridges, automobiles, railway cars such as the shinkansen and high-speed trains, large-scale equipment, and ships. Even today, Nippon Paint is intensifying its efforts to create new initiatives using paint, coatings and surface treatments to develop technologies that can help deal with social unrest due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition, Nippon Paint is accelerating the development of innovative paint and coating technologies through open innovation to address environmental issues, such as climate change and the destruction of the natural environment, and difficult social issues facing modern society today, such as population decline and the depletion of resources in aging societies and developed nations.

The conclusion of this agreement is expected to bring together the brilliant minds and skills of researchers from The University of Tokyo and the results of their research, with the comprehensive technological strength of Nippon Paint’s paint and coating technologies. The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint aim to contribute to the creation of a beautiful and attractive sustainable society.

2.Period of Agreement and Funding Scale

・Period: 5 years from 2020 to 2025
・Funding: JPY 1 billion

3.Overview of Social Cooperation Course

・Period: October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2025 (5 years)
ž・Lead faculty: Toru Wakihara (Professor, Institute of Engineering Innovation, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)
・Research Aims
The painting process is one in which individual unit operations, such as painting and drying, progress in a continuous manner. The painting process contains a variety of research topics that cover a broad range of topics, including the development of high performance materials, such as the production of fine pigments, optimization of operating parameters, such as self-assembly during the drying process, and optimizing the process for scale-up.

In addition, as we turn our focus to the current situation with the spread of the new coronavirus and the “post-corona society”, we can expect an increase in the need for innovative coating technologies. Specifically envisioned are “coating technologies that have anti-bacterial and anti-viral functions to prevent the spread of infections” and “coating technologies that support the foundation of a smart/remote society”.

In this social cooperation course, researchers will create innovative coating technologies and surface treatment technologies by combining the brilliant results of research from The University of Tokyo in various academic fields and the practical technology development capabilities of Nippon Paint. Specifically, collaborators on this course will work on searching for painting materials with new functions, paint design, clarifying the physical and chemical processes that can lead to innovation in the painting process, and the establishment of control technologies. Shaped by this, joint research will be promoted in the following three directions with the aim of proposing the potential to solve social problems in the future.

1. Research on coating technologies with anti-viral functions and functions to prevent the spread of infection
2. Research on coating technologies that can support the foundation of a smart/remote society as envisioned in the future and contribute to improving efficiency in society
3. Research on coating technologies that will contribute to reducing environmental loads and control social costs

・Educational Aims
While paint is simultaneously required to have multiple functions (anti-fouling, anti-fogging, anti-bacterial, wettability control, etc.), next-generation coatings may also need to have completely different painting processes than in the past. These new next-generation coatings will require human resources who have acquired new knowledge and techniques, including those who understand the conditions for preparing high-performance paints and behaviors at the molecular level when painting, and those who can design new painting processes with an overview of the entire painting process. This course will promote the development of these types of highly-skilled human resources and will actively work to establish an educational process to turn out the next generation of highly-skilled human resources.

Photo:December 2019 Location:Tokyo Office, Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. (Left):Makoto Gonokami, President, The University of Tokyo (Right):Masaaki Tanaka, Chairman, President & CEO, Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.

4. Contact Information

Public Relations Office, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Tel: 03-5841-6295 Fax: 03-5841-0529
E-mail: kouhou@pr.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Public Relations, Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.
Tel: 06-6455-9140 Fax: 06-6455-9270
E-mail: nphd-kouho@nipponpaint.jp

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