Promoting Science and Technology
The Toray Group has outlined a corporate philosophy of "contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies and products," which the Group delivers on by practicing innovation. In order to continuously develop new technologies and materials that lead to innovation, the Group must secure and develop talented human resources. From the long-term perspective, the Group fosters human development by providing research grants and supports science education through the Toray Science Foundation and Toray science foundations in three Southeast Asian countries, to raise interest in science.
Promoting Science and Technology
Toray established the Toray Science Foundation in 1960, founding one of the first private-sector research assistance organizations in Japan, which is still highly regarded today. The objectives of the foundation are to assist and encourage research in science and technology, and to contribute to the improvement and development of science, technology and culture. To accomplish these objectives, the foundation implements the following programs:
- Science and technology grants for young researchers
- Prizes for outstanding achievements in science and technology
- Prizes for science educators in junior and senior high schools, and publication of the work of award winners
- Grants for young researchers in the natural sciences in three southeast Asian nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand)
- Toray Science Foundation's 57th presentation ceremony (March 2017)
- Toray Science and Technology Grant recipients at 57th presentation ceremony (for fiscal 2016)
Toray Science Foundations in ASEAN
Toray has established science foundations in three Southeast Asian nations where it has had a business presence since the 1960s. These foundations aim to contribute to the advancement of science and technology and promote science education in each country. The science foundations in Malaysia and Indonesia were established in 1993, followed by the establishment of a foundation in Thailand in 1994.
Since their establishment, the foundations have provided awards for outstanding achievements in science, technology and science education, and grants for research in the natural sciences, using funds raised by interest income from endowments, grants from the Toray Science Foundation, and annual donations from group companies in various countries. The award winners and grant recipients include outstanding science researchers, young researchers in the basic sciences, and science educators. These activities have earned great social respect in the countries of each foundation.
The foundations seek to support the medium- and long-term development of science and technology in the host countries, by generating interest among science and technology researchers, youth, and science educators. The foundations also contribute to mutual understanding, friendship, and goodwill between Japan and each country, and foster economic development there, as well.
Malaysia Toray Science Foundation
Since its inauguration in August 1993, the foundation has extended awards and grants totaling 9.4 million ringgit to 685 people. The foundation holds an annual award presentation ceremony that is attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia and the Japanese ambassador to Malaysia. The awards are a badge of honor for the award winners and grant recipients. During the solicitation period for entries, the foundation collaborates with universities and the Malaysian Ministry of Education to actively publicize the grants for young researchers and Science Education Prizes throughout the country.
In fiscal 2016, the foundation extended awards and grants totaling 427,000 ringgit, comprising two Science and Technology Prizes, 17 science and technology grants, and 16 Science Education Prizes.
- 23rd presentation ceremony of the Malaysia Toray Science Foundation held in December 2016, with Science and Technology Prize winners
- Toray President Akihiro Nikkaku speaks at the presentation ceremony
Thailand Toray Science Foundation
Since its inaguration in June 1994, the foundation has extended awards and grants totaling 118.6 million baht to 657 people. The foundation holds an annual award presentation ceremony. From the inaugural ceremony in 1995 through 2009, the ceremony was attended by President of the Privy Council His Excellency General Prem Tinsulanonda, and since 2010 has been attended by the Privy Councillor His Excellency General Surayud Chulanont. The ceremony is always a big moment for award winners and science and technology researchers receiving grants.
In fiscal 2016, the foundation extended awards and grants totaling 5.37 million baht, comprising two Science and Technology Prizes, 20 science and technology grants, and seven Science Education Prizes.
- 23rd presentation ceremony of the Thailand Toray Science Foundation held in March 2017, with Science Education Prize winners
- Science and technology grant recipients with cremony chair Privy Councillor H.E. General Surayud Chulanont, H.E. Ambassador to Thailand Shiro Sadoshima, and Toray President Akihiro Nikkaku
Indonesia Toray Science Foundation
Since its inauguration in December 1993, the foundation has extended awards and grants totaling 19.2 billion rupiah to 659 people. From the beginning, the foundation has enlisted the cooperation of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, whose Director-General also heads the foundation. The foundation has assisted many individuals who are contributing to the progress of science and technology in Indonesia. Past recipients of science and technology grants now teach as professors and associate professors at leading universities, including the University of Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology, Gadjah Mada University, and Sekolah Tinggi Teknik Surabaya, and others conduct research at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.
In fiscal 2016, the foundation extended awards and grants totaling 970 million rupiah, comprising 18 science and technology grants and 10 Science Education Prizes.
- 23rd presentation ceremony of the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation held in March 2017, with grant recipients, prize winners and guests
- Presenting certificates of recognition
Supporting Science in the Classroom
For many years, as part of its efforts to promote science and technology, the Toray Group has been carrying out various educational programs for people pursuing science and engineering. In the last few years, the Group has expanded these initiatives to encompass elementary and junior high school students in local communities, through science workshops focusing on products made by group companies. The workshops teach concepts introduced in science textbooks, and are taught by Group employees using lab equipment and teaching materials donated by group companies.
In fiscal 2016, the Group conducted science workshops at senior high schools, using an advanced version of the programs for junior high school students. The Group conducted science workshops at 22 schools ranging from elementary to senior high schools in the United States and Japan (Tokyo, Aichi Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, etc.). The Group also supplied lab equipment and teaching materials to 50 schools across Japan, and cooperated in conducting three workshops for educators in Tokyo.
- Toray Group employee explains the experiment
- Assisting students in the classroom
- Science workshop at a senior high school
- Workshop for educators
- Elementary school teachers conducting an experiment
- An employee shows how filtering orange juice thorugh a hollow membrane produces a transparent liquid.
Japan Technology Weekend Exhibition in Malaysia
In September 2016, Toray Group companies in Malaysia participated in the 1st Japan Technology Weekend exhibition in Tech Dome Penang. The facility, which had opened in July 2016, is Penang's first Science Discovery Center designed to foster youth interest in science and encourage youth to enter science and technology fields. The center was built with the financial backing of the Penang State Government.
During the exhibition, Toray Group staff showcased the Group's technologies and their contributions to society through various fun activities designed to spark youth interest in science. The hands-on exhibits demonstrated filtering water treament membranes and explored the properties of conductive films and comparative mass of carbon fiber and steel. Booth staff also expanded their knowledge of the Group's diverse advanced technologies through their involvement with the exhibition.
Toray Group companies in Malaysia contributed 300,000 ringgit to the construction of the center, as one of its founding corporate sponsors.
- Listening to an explanation from a Toray Group employee
- Feeling the lightness of a carbon fiber badminton racket
Workshops at the Science Museum
Learning about filtration and the importance of water
Since 2012, Toray has conducted workshops at the Science Museum located in Kitanomaru Park in Tokyo, every day that the museum is open. In fiscal 2016, more than 7,300 people ranging from young children to adults attended the two workshops, which examined filtration and the importance of water, and the amazing properties of fibers.
Sponsoring the Japan Biology Olympiad
All four students from Japan won a medal (photo courtesy of Organization of Japan Biology Olympiad Committee)
Since 2007, Toray has supported Japanese senior high school students to attend the International Biology Olympiad through arrangements made by the Japan Science Foundation. Four Japanese students attended the 27th Olympiad held in Vietnam in July 2016, winning gold and silver medals.
Involvement with Aozora Science School
Campers get to launch the rockets they made at the rocket competition
The Aozora Science School is an overnight educational camp for students in grades three to five. Launched in 2015, the camp is run by JTB Corporate Sales Inc. to foster youth interest in science through exposure to nature. Toray is involved in planning, program development, and camp operation.
The programming changes every year to provide campers with a fun menu of activities that combine nature and science. The activities included a campfire that changes color through flame reaction, filtering lake water to remove impurities, stargazing, and making rockets.