Press Room

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2009

Japan Prize Invites Nominations for 2011

- Two fields of studies, ‘information and communications’ and ‘bioscience and medical science,’ are eligible for the international science award -

TOKYO, Japan (November 24, 2009) - The Science and Technology Foundation of Japan today announced the fields of studies eligible for the 2011 Japan Prizes, one of the most prestigious international awards in science and technology. The field eligible for the 27th annual awards are information and communications, and bioscience and medical science. The Foundation is encouraging prominent scientists and researchers worldwide to nominate candidates in these two fields. Based on these nominations, the Foundation will select finalists and announce the winners in mid January 2011.

Each year the Foundation selects a specific prize field from each of the two areas of studies: I) Mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering; and II) Biology, agriculture and medical science. The 2011 Japan Prizes will honor scientists and researchers, irrespective of nationality, whose original and outstanding achievements in science and technology are recognized as having advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind in the two fields described below.

In principle, the Foundation selects one winner from each field. Each Japan Prize laureate will receive a certificate of merit and a commemorative gold medal. A monetary award of 50 million Japanese yen will be presented for each prize category.

The Foundation is now in the final stage of selecting the 2010 Japan Prize winners in the field of industrial production and production technology, and biological production and environment. The names of the laureates will be announced in Tokyo in mid January 2010.

In 2009, the Japan Prizes were awarded to Dennis L. Meadows, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Systems Policy at the University of New Hampshire, and President of the Laboratory for Interactive Learning, for his contribution in the field of transformation towards a sustainable society in harmony with nature, and David E. Kuhl, M.D., Professor of Radiology, University of Michigan Medical School, for his achievement in the field of technological integration of medical science and engineering.

<2011 Japan Prizes>

Area of Studies I: mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering Field eligible for the award: information and communications

Background and rationale:
More than half a century after their invention, computers have developed through fusion with networking technology to yield information and communication systems processing almost all information arising in the real world. As an indispensable social infrastructure that supports civil life as well as socio-economic activities, these systems have greatly contributed to the further advancement of science and technology and the creation of new cultures. In view of such circumstances, the enhancement of reliability and security of information and communication systems is becoming increasingly important in ensuring the safety and security of society and convenience in daily life. Such new issues need to be tackled in order to develop and advance our knowledge-based society on a global scale. Moreover, it is hoped that information and communications technologies, both in the software and hardware aspects, will be further developed and widely disseminated.

Achievement eligible:
The 2011 Japan Prize will be awarded to honor achievements that bring about remarkable progress in science and technology in the field of information and communications, and make outstanding contributions to society by improving the safety and convenience of the lives of people through the creation of new industries, and improvement in productivity among other innovations.

Area of Studies II: biology, agriculture and medical science Field eligible for the award: bioscience and medical science

Background and rationale:
The progress in bioscience and medical science over the past half century has tremendously contributed to the understanding of biological functions, elucidation of the pathophysiology of various diseases and also to the development of new medical treatments and medicines. As a result, the average life expectancy has been drastically raised and the quality of life has been enhanced. However, there are still not a few diseases that are difficult to treat, and many patients are undergoing long-term care or suffering from the residual defects resulting in instability of daily life, poverty and the increase of burdens in the socio-economy. Furthermore, while malaria and tuberculosis are still raging, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including AIDS are also threatening our society. It is hoped that further progress in the field of bioscience and medical science will help resolve these issues.

Achievement eligible:
The 2011 Japan Prize will be awarded to honor achievements that bring about remarkable progress in science and technology in the field of bioscience and medical science, and make an outstanding contribution to society in the treatment of diseases or the improvement of human health through the understanding of biofunctions, creation or promulgation of new medical technologies, or the development or production of new pharmaceuticals.

The Science and Technology Foundation of Japan
The Science and Technology Foundation of Japan, established in 1982, aims to promote the advancement of science and technology for the peace and prosperity of mankind. The Foundation offers the Japan Prize annually to scientists and researchers in two categories who, regardless of nationality, made substantial contributions to that end. In the last 25 years since its inception in 1985, 68 people from 13 countries have received the Japan Prize. In addition to awarding the Japan Prize, which was established with the Japanese government endorsement, the Foundation has been promoting knowledge and information on science and technology by hosting the "Easy-to-understand Science and Technology" seminars and awarding Research Grants to help nurture young scientists. For details about the Foundation and its activities, please visit http://www.japanprize.jp/en

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