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Press Conference on Launch of Social Cooperation Program Based on Industry-Academia Co-Creation Agreement with the University of Tokyo Opening Speech by President & CEO Masaaki Tanaka
November 24, 2020
Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd.
Press Conference on Launch of Social Cooperation Program Based on Industry-Academia Co-Creation Agreement with the University of Tokyo
Opening Speech by President & CEO Masaaki Tanaka
Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule today.
I’m Masaaki Tanaka, President & CEO of Nippon Paint Holdings.
As President Gonokami of the University of Tokyo has just announced, the University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings have established the social cooperation program titled “Creation of Innovative Coating Technologies.” We started this program in October based on the industry-academia co-creation agreement concluded on May 18 this year, which is aimed at promoting comprehensive joint research and the exchange of human resources at a high level between the two organizations.
Nippon Paint Holdings will provide one billion yen for a period of five years beginning in October 2020 to host this program. We are ready to provide additional funding to strengthen our joint research activities.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to President Gonokami and everyone involved at the University of Tokyo for your tremendous efforts for establishing this social cooperation program. I’m also grateful that this program was given a great name, titled “Creation of Innovative Coating Technologies.” This program was made possible by discussions between professors and other faculty members at the University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings Group’s researchers that started at the end of last year. These discussions led to the discovery of great potential involving paint, coating and surface treatment technologies.
Nippon Paint Holdings Group understands the critical importance of developing technologies to create new solutions for social issues, in addition to meeting customer needs. Our founder Jujiro Moteki, an alumnus of Kaisei School, the predecessor of the University of Tokyo, developed Japan’s first non-toxic zinc-based white material in response to the problem of the poisoning of women by the lead-based white substance in face powder at that time. That was the start of our history. In other words, Nippon Paint Holdings is a venture company originating from the University of Tokyo.
Nippon Paint Holdings Group now operates in 29 geographical locations worldwide. Our Group will complete the acquisition of the Asian JV stake and the Indonesia business in January 2021 to grow into a corporate group with more than 32,000 employees. Nippon Paint Holdings Group will utilize the global research and development networks of the two organizations to contribute to the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a new social issue, and ensure safety and security in today’s “new normal” lifestyle. By doing so, we are determined to use innovative paint and coating technologies to create a pleasant living environment for people around the world.
To accomplish these common goals, more than 80 professors and other faculty members who are specialists in various fields at the University of Tokyo and researchers from Nippon Paint Holdings Group have started joint research projects. In early May, when the COVID-19 pandemic was running rampant around the world and Japan was under the state of emergency, Nippon Paint Holdings set up Advanced Product Development, an R&D unit dedicated to developing products that will help solve social issues. Through this unit, Nippon Paint Holdings is conducting research and development of anti-viral paint and coating technologies that can help contain COVID-19. Our researchers have been working with laboratories at the University of Tokyo since August for joint research programs. I am proud that they are accelerating their activities for exploring new materials, verifying anti-viral effects, and developing technologies aimed at speedy and widespread use of anti-viral paint and coatings. I am convinced that the results of our collaborative research activities will contribute to society in the near future.
I hope that this program will lead to the creation of innovation to help solve many social issues for the future and contribute to creating a sustainable society that is vibrant and exciting.
Nippon Paint Holdings’ anti-viral products include paint containing a visible light-responsive photocatalyst. The effect of this photocatalyst was discovered by Emeritus Professor Kenichi Honda and Honorary Emeritus Professor Akira Fujishima of the University of Tokyo and was announced in 1972 in the journal Nature. This effect is now widely known worldwide as the “Honda-Fujishima effect.” Nippon Paint Holdings’ products incorporate the results of research activities of professors and other faculty members at the University of Tokyo who have world-class expertise, technologies and research capabilities.
With SDGs and ESG at the core of management, Nippon Paint Holdings will explore solutions to social issues through co-creation efforts with the University of Tokyo for speedy development of innovative paint and coating technologies. These include technologies to help solve environmental issues such as climate change, the destruction of nature, aging of society and population decline in developed countries, resource depletion, and prevention and control of COVID-19 and other unknown infectious diseases that may emerge in the future.
I want to end my remarks by stressing that we intend to advance the co-creation partnership between the University of Tokyo and Nippon Paint Holdings. We have taken a big first step by starting this program and I foresee a broad range of activities that go beyond paint and coating technologies. By providing solutions for coexistence with viruses and the creation of a smart society, I am hopeful that innovative paint and coating technologies developed and evolved through our partnership will help create a beautiful and attractive sustainable society that provides a safe, secure, and pleasant environment for people around the world.
Photo: Press Conference on Launch of Social Cooperation Program
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.