- Company Information/Management
Chairman, President & CEO Masaaki Tanaka’s Statement Issued on the Announcement of Conclusion of an Industry-Academia Co-creation Agreement with the University of Tokyo on May 18
Today, the University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. 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. The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint are pleased to announce the decision to establish a social cooperation course aimed at “Construction of Innovative Coating Technologies” at the University of Tokyo based on the purpose of this agreement.
We would have held a joint press conference with President Gonokami of the University of Tokyo to explain the agreement directly to you, but we are issuing the announcement and this statement online to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you very much for your understanding.
This course is scheduled to be offered for five years from October 2020, and we plan to provide a total amount of about one billion yen as funds for offering this course.
Next, I would like to explain the background and purpose of this industry-academia co-creation agreement.
Our company originated from Jujiro Moteki’s efforts to solve a social challenge nearly 140 years ago, when the founder, who was an alumnus of Kaisei School, the predecessor of the University of Tokyo, developed non-toxic zinc white for the first time in Japan in order to help women who had suffered from poisoning by white lead (a kind of white pigment) contained in face powder at that time. Today, Nippon Paint gives color, comfort, and security to industries and people’s lives in every corner of our society, including automobiles, houses and other buildings, white lines on roads and airfields, large structures such as bridges, railroad trains such as Shinkansen cars, large machines such as cranes, and tankers and other ships. We have over 1,000 engineers in Japan alone, who devote their energy to research and development. We have so far placed high importance not only on developing technologies that can meet customer needs but also on developing technologies that can provide new solutions to social challenges. When we shared this awareness of ours with President Gonokami, he expressed his strong interest in it.
Especially in the current situation, where the world faces the new social challenges of containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring safety and security in the “New Normal,” President Gonokami and we have agreed that the top priority in this partnership between the University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint is swiftly finding and providing solutions to those challenges using new technologies. Based on this shared recognition, Nippon Paint has positioned the development of antiviral products as its top-priority technological challenge and has formed a dedicated team to accelerate technological development.
In preparation for the conclusion of this industry-academia co-creation agreement, professors of the University of Tokyo, including President Gonokami, visited our research facilities in December 2019 to inspect our advanced technologies and research equipment. After that, our engineers had discussions with the professors of the University of Tokyo, consequently clearly identifying social challenges that can be solved by applying our technologies: preventing the spread of viruses through antiviral and other technologies; enhancing efficiency in smart society and remote-technology-based society; reducing the environmental burden; and cutting social costs. We believe that a combination of studies conducted by professors of the University of Tokyo, a world-class center of advanced knowledge, technology, and research, and our paint, coating, and surface treatment technologies will enable us to create innovations that will help build a future society and contribute to the achievement of a colorful and attractive sustainable society.
Throughout our history of nearly 140 years, we have devoted sustained efforts to the development and practical application of the most advanced paint technologies. Operating globally, the Nippon Paint Group develops technologies that match the different characteristics of respective countries/regions, and over its long history, it has accumulated core technologies and know-how that are necessary to commercialize paints. We will make the maximum use of our group’s global R&D network to promote industry-academia co-creation. Specifically, we will have our engineers not only in Japan but also at our overseas group companies participate in comprehensive collaboration with the University of Tokyo, promote the integration of the research results, and use them to conserve the global environment and achieve a sustainable society.
At the same time, in this process of industry-academia co-creation, we will conduct active personnel exchanges in order to integrate the research technologies of both organizations as early as possible. We will establish a mechanism that enables the University of Tokyo’s faculty members in all fields and our researchers from various departments to freely visit each other to share knowledge and conduct joint research in order to create unprecedented work styles and career paths.
Furthermore, with the perspectives of the SDGs and ESG positioned as the core of our corporate management, we will accelerate our efforts to develop innovative paint and coating technologies in order to achieve solutions to difficult contemporary social challenges—environmental issues such as climate change and the destruction of natural environments, aging population and population decline in developed countries, resource depletion, and fight against not only COVID-19 but also various other expected infectious diseases—through open innovation based on our collaboration with the University of Tokyo.
In conclusion, let me mention our passionate enthusiasm to utilize our paint and coating technologies in collaboration with the University of Tokyo to ensure that the next and subsequent generations will be able to live on the globe with a feeling of security. We are determined to devote all-out efforts to the upcoming five-year joint research project to accomplish many concrete achievements and provide society with innovations that will help build a future society and new technologies for creating a beautiful and attractive sustainable society.
Video (Japanese only): Chairman, President & CEO Masaaki Tanaka’s Statement Issued on the Announcement of the Conclusion of an Industry-Academia Co-creation Agreement with the University of Tokyo on May 18
News Release: Conclusion of Agreement on Industry-Academia Co-creation Between The University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings