German Innovation Award 2012

© DWIH Tokyo

On Tuesday, five Japanese researchers were invited to the German Embassy in Tokyo to be awarded the 4th Gottfried Wagener Prize, also known as the German Innovation Award. The award is supported by ten major German technology companies and research organizations and aims at fostering both countries` industry-academia cooperation. It focuses on application-oriented research in the fields of Environment & Energy, Healthcare, and Safety & Security. Eighty-three scientists from 34 Japanese universities had participated in the competition, which awards prize money amounting to 9 million yen as well as fellowships for overseas research stays.

In his commemorative speech, Dr. Jun’ichiro Kawaguchi, project leader of the prestigious Hayabusa project of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) honored the laureates for their outstanding achievements.

The 1st prize was presented to Dr. Taiga Yamaya from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences for proposing a joint positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and radiotherapy system utilizing his new open-type PET geometry, “OpenPET”. His work promises significant contributions to cancer therapy and is likely to deeply impact the healthcare industry. Dr. Yamaya’s team was awarded prize money worth 4 million Yen.

The 2nd prize went to Dr. Kenichiro Itami (41) from Nagoya University for the development of innovative carbon-based materials through green chemical processes. The scientists Dr. Hiroyuki Mizuguchi (43) and Dr. Yusuke Mori (46), from Osaka University and Dr. Shuji Tanaka (40) from Tohoku University were awarded the 3rd prize. In addition to the prize money, all winners are granted a fellowship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a short-term research stay in Germany.

The German Innovation Award was launched in 2008 by technology-focused German enterprises and the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan. The prize is named after Gottfried Wagener, a German researcher and co-founder of Tokyo Institute of Technology who helped restructure the educational system in the Meiji era of pre-war Japan.

The award is granted under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, the German Federal Minister of Education and Research.