President of NPO Research Institute of Nano Structured Polymer Dr.Nishi

Nanostructure Polymer Research Association in the with Corona, post Corona Era

I thought it was a good opportunity to renew my mood and calm things down, but the new coronavirus (COVID-19) that started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 became a real pandemic, and the world. Tourism, aviation, food and drink, retail, department stores, hotels and inns have been hit hard. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were scheduled to be held in 2020 but were postponed to 2021, have also been scaled down, and on March 21, 2021, spectators from overseas were banned. In the current infection situation, the event itself is in jeopardy. On the other hand, as teleworking PCs, related equipment, semiconductor industry, and IT industry (GAFA, etc.) are doing well due to the increase in teleworking. For some reason, stock prices continue to rise. In the fields related to us, the following three points will have a great impact in the future.
1. Realization of carbon neutrality in 2050″ declared by the Suga Cabinet on October 26, 2020
2. Prohibition of gasoline vehicle sales from the first half of 2030″ announced by the government on December 3, 2020
3. Microplastic problem.

First of all, from August 2020, we started a webinar seminar (Webinar) as a measure against COVID-19. We are confident that our association is developing steadily with the cooperation of all of you and is achieving its original purpose. Thanks to the financial results for FY2020, it is at a level that can be said to be sound finances.
By the way, if you look outside the association, recently, events that should be called Masaka and Tondemonai have occurred more frequently than expected. Looking at the current status of COVID-19 infection (March 21, 2021), the number of infected people worldwide is about 130 million and the number of deaths is about 2.7 million.
Personally speaking, since mid-February 2020, most domestic and international business trips have been postponed or canceled, and most have been online conferences and telework by Zoom. Due to the COVID-19 disaster, the globalization up to now has been suddenly divided. This is happening not only at the individual level but also at the industrial level, and this effect is truly serious. It is an impact that far surpasses the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Lehman shock. In addition, he received the “Dissemination Award” at the general meeting of the Japan Seismic Isolation Structure Association on July 8, 2021 for the long-standing spread of seismic isolation rubber, but he did not realize it because of the web award ceremony. In addition, I was able to serialize the “Private Plastic Industry History” requested by Plastic Sage magazine in the September, October, November, and December 2020 issues by taking advantage of the nesting time. On the other hand, due to lack of exercise due to working from home, muscle strength and motor nerves became weak, and on September 28, I fell at the front door, and my left upper arm fracture and three front teeth broke. I was hospitalized from September 30th to October 23rd and underwent surgery, and is now completely cured. There are many stories of fall accidents in the neighborhood. We hope that all members will be careful.
Focusing on science and technology, the national 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan was put into practice from April 2016 to March 2021. The main focus is that the keys to realization in Society 5.0 are IoT, big data, artificial intelligence, robots, open innovation, etc. In terms of materials, this would be, for example, a “light and tough material”. Since it is difficult to realize with one material, nano structured polymers such as composite materials, nano composites, and polymer alloys play a leading role. The “Supple Tough Polymer” project (project leader is Professor Kozo Ito of the University of Tokyo) in ImPACT, which was actually started under the initiative of the Cabinet Office, was carried out for four and a half years from September 2014 to March 2019. In addition to basic research, industry-academia-government collaboration has developed “thin and tough electrolyte membranes, thin-film high-strength separators, hard and supple body structural materials, thinner and lighter tires, tough transparent acrylic windows,” etc. Since the author and Mr. Usuki, the deputy representative director, acted as advisors, I know that nano structured polymers are playing an important role in the development of these new materials. There are high expectations for the field of this association in the future. Regarding COVID-19, in addition to infection prevention masks, goggles, disinfectant kits, medical face shields, acrylic plates, protective clothing, gloves, various transparent sheets, detection kits for inspection and treatment, injectors, drip tools, etc. Meanwhile, the 6th Science and Technology Basic Plan (5 years from 2021) is currently under consideration and will be announced shortly. Material-related keywords include sustainability, material innovation enhancement tactics, innovation, AI, and pandemic support. In any case, this COVID-19 may change the way society and industry should be. Naturally, after overcoming this turmoil, the society will be completely different. However, I am convinced that the science and technology of nanostructured polymers will occupy a large position as the foundation.

Based on the cooperation, contributions, and positive proposals of members and corporate members, this association is attractive because it can hold valuable events for industry, academia, and government that cannot be done by existing academic societies. We look forward to your active participation, support, and encouragement in the future.——continue to 2021 News letter

Author: xs498889