Over drinks in the evening small groups of scientists define and solve problem areas that have been revealed the night before.
This helps to break down barriers between areas of the company and collaborators.
Example: “Whiskey Operations” were developed by Masato Nebashi, the executive director of the MITI VLSI Research Association in an effort to foster collaborative relationships between the 100 scientists he brought in from outside. The project resulted in more than 1000 patents, and two years after the project ended Japan had 70% of the DRAM market.
Source: Tatsuno, S. (1990). Created in Japan: from imitators to world-class innovators.