TOKYO/KOBE (October 13, 2020)—In hopes to prevent the further spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic, RIKEN, Suntory Liquors Ltd. and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. have decided to combine their expertise to develop face shields designed specifically for eating and drinking, thereby creating a safer environment in restaurants and bars.
With efforts underway to resume economic activities while simultaneously containing the pandemic, the world faces a critical challenge especially in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as restaurants and bars reopen in many countries.
“Our brands have grown into what they are today thanks to the food service industry. Together with restaurants and bars, Suntory has contributed to cultivating the food and beverage culture in Japan and we have been considering how we can best support this industry which is one of the most heavily impacted by the pandemic,” says Kenji Yamada, CEO of Suntory Liquors.
Making use of the new supercomputer Fugaku, scheduled to begin full operation in the Japanese fiscal year 2021, RIKEN has been conducting the world’s largest ever virus droplet simulation. Utilizing the results of this highly accurate research on “Prediction and Countermeasure for Virus Droplet Infection under the Indoor Environment,” Suntory Liquors and Toppan are developing a face shield and assessing its actual practicability by testing in restaurants and bars.
“Toppan has been engaging in a range of activities to address the social issue of the novel coronavirus pandemic. We intend to contribute to wider society by making the final design for the face shields available as open data to enable anybody in the world to produce and use them. We hope that this initiative can help revitalize the food service industry,” says Makoto Arai, Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer of Toppan’s Information & Communication Division.
“This collaboration with Suntory Liquors and Toppan has enabled RIKEN to gain new insights and knowledge. By further promoting this type of collaboration, we would like to contribute to making Society 5.0 a reality by using Fugaku in real-world applications,” says Satoshi Matsuoka, Director of the RIKEN Center for Computing Science (R-CCS)
RIKEN, Suntory Liquors and Toppan will continue to collaborate in hopes to contribute to finding effective solutions to preventing the further spreading of COVID-19.