Press Room


November 10, 2015

Nomination Process for 2017 Japan Prize Begins

The 33rd annual prize will honor achievements in “Electronics, Information and Communication” and “Life Science”

TOKYO, Japan (November 10, 2015) - The Japan Prize Foundation announced today that it has begun the nomination process for the 2017 (33rd) Japan Prize that will honor outstanding achievements in the fields of “Electronics, Information and Communication” and “Life Science.” Qualified nominators, more than 13,000 people in the world, including prominent scientists and researchers selected by the Foundation, are now being asked to turn in the names of the candidates who they think deserve the prestigious international prize in science and technology.

The nomination process runs through February 2016, and the winners will be announced in January 2017 after a 10-month-long review of the nominees’ achievements. First, based on the nominations, two Selection Subcommittees comprised of experts in the eligible fields for the 2017 Japan Prize will evaluate the achievements. Their conclusions will be forwarded to the Selection Committee, which will assess the candidates’ achievements further from a wider perspective, including contributions to the progress of science and technology. The Foundation’s Board of Directors then makes the final decision on the winners.

Presently, the Foundation is in the final stage of selecting the 2016 Japan Prize winners in the fields of “Materials and Production” and “Biological Production and Biological Environment.” The winners will be announced in January 2016.

The Japan Prize 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 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 field.

2017-2019 Japan Prize Designated Fields Eligible

The Japan Prize is awarded every year in two specific fields selected from the two areas of study: “Physics, Chemistry and Engineering” and “Life Science, Agriculture and Medicine.” The designated fields eligible for the 2017-2019 Japan Prize are as follows:

Area of Physics, Chemistry & Engineering   Area of Life Science, Agriculture & Medicine
Eligible Fields Year Eligible Fields
Electronics, Information and Communication 2017 Life Science
Resources, Energy, Environment and Social Infrastructure 2018 Medical Science and Medicinal Science
Materials and Production 2019 Biological Production and Biological Environment


Fields for the 2017 Japan Prize

Area: “Physics, Chemistry and Engineering”

Field Eligible: “Electronics, Information and Communication”

Background and Rationale
In recent years, we have seen new waves of technological development from devices to systems, in various fields of electronics, information and communication, such as artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, next generation network, robotics and energy utilization. In particular, innovation derived from the rapid and efficient utilization of large data generated across broad areas is anticipated to spawn new cultures, lifestyles and types of manufacturing, thereby contributing enormously to the advancement of our society.

Meanwhile, the various incidental phenomena that are threatening the safety and security of our lives can no longer be ignored, making the development of technological solutions an urgent matter.

Achievement Eligible
The 2017 Japan Prize in the field of “Electronics, Information and Communication” is awarded to an individual(s) who has achieved scientific and technological breakthroughs, such as development of essential technologies or systems that contribute significantly and widely to the creation of new industries, to the innovation of manufacturing technologies, to the advancement of information and knowledge driven society, and to the assurance of our society’s safety and security, as well as basic research and development that is highly likely to drive the future advancement of our society.


Area: “Life Science, Agriculture and Medicine”

Field Eligible: “Life Science”

Background and Rationale
The field of life science has been increasingly expanding and deepening in recent years, leading to remarkable advances in our understanding of life itself.

For example, genome and epigenome analysis using next-generation sequencing, OMICs analysis using mass spectrometry, molecular and morphological analysis using super-resolution microscopy or three-dimensional electron microscopy, and various analyses using genome editing techniques are progressing at an incredible pace. Such innovative analysis technologies have contributed to numerous revolutionary discoveries.

While we must respect bioethics and handle personal information very carefully, the advancement of our understanding of the life phenomenon will be of tremendous benefit to humanity and lead to the creation and spread of new fields of medicine in the future.

Achievement Eligible
The 2017 Japan Prize in the field of “Life Science” is awarded to an individual(s) who has achieved scientific and technological breakthroughs, such as the discovery of new life phenomena and innovation in analysis techniques that facilitate the elucidation of biological functions, thereby contributing significantly to our society.

More about the Press Room

Japan Prize News No.60

2018 (34th) Japan Prize Presentation Ceremony
Three Scientists from Japan, the U.S. and Australia receive the prize in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress
Read issue

30 Years of Japan Prize

page top