Toray Science Foundations around the World
In 1955, Toyo Rayon Co., Ltd. (now Toray Industries, Inc.) made a clear statement concerning the principles it had upheld since its founding, establishing the Company Principle, “Toyo Rayon contributes to communities.” At that time, the business was expanding dramatically, but the company wanted to acknowledge that this achievement was due to the support of society and not just its own capabilities.
In 1960, the Toyo Rayon Science Foundation (now called Toray Science Foundation) was established to promote basic science and fulfill the Company Principle of contributing to communities. Toray Science Foundations were subsequently established in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Republic of Korea to support the development of science and technology in those nations.
Toray Science Foundation
Toyo Rayon Science Foundation (now called Toray Science Foundation) was established in 1960 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the company's founding by funding and promoting research into science and technology.
The aim was to help advance science, technology and culture. Toray Industries, Inc. contributed one billion yen when it was established, and has continued to donate funds to cover operating costs through the present.
The Foundation was much talked about when it was first established as a pioneering corporate foundation. Its support activities include grants and prizes in the fields of basic science and science education. Unlike similar organizations, the Foundation also recognizes science teachers at junior and senior high schools, and its activities have continued to win high praise. Six1 of the recipients of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prizes or Science and Technology Grants have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.
- 1 Reona Esaki (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prize in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973), Masatoshi Koshiba (recipient of various Foundation grants from 1968 to 1970 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002), Ryoji Noyori (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prize in 1990 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001), Isamu Akasaki (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prize in 2000 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014), Shinya Yamanaka (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Grant in 2004 and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012) and Tasuku Honjo (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Grant in 1981 and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2018).
- First Toyo Rayon Science Foundation presentation ceremony (March 1960)
- Toray Science and Technology Grant recipients at 59th presentation ceremony (March 2019)
Main activities of Toray Science Foundation2
- (1) Toray Science and Technology Grant: This grant provides financial assistance to young researchers engaged in exploratory research in science and technology.
- (2) Toray Science and Technology Prize: This prize is awarded to scientists for their distinguished achievements in science and technology.
- (3) Toray Science Education Prize: This prize is awarded to commend junior and senior high school teachers who have given creative and innovative lessons in science with good results. Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology backed the program in fiscal 2006 by establishing the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize. The Foundation publishes a booklet collecting the description of the prizewinner's works and circulates about 16,000 copies of it to junior and senior high schools every year for teachers to use.
As a project to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Toray Science Foundation, the Toray Science Education Planning Award was introduced in fiscal 2020. The aim is to recognize those who plan and develop science lessons based on new ideas and ingenuity.
- (4)Toray Science Foundation International Research Grant: This grant is awarded to young researchers engaged in basic research on science and technology in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
- 2 The prize and grant recipients are selected by a third-party committee made up of experts.
Cumulative achievements, fiscal 1960-2020
|Toray Science and Technology Grant||668||7,015|
|Toray Science and Technology Prize||127||478|
|Toray Science Education Prize||712||222|
|Grants for researchers outside Japan 3||797||473|
- 3 Including direct grants to universities in 1989-1993 (61 cases, totaling 68 million yen)
Toray Science Foundations outside Japan
Toray Industries has established science foundations in three Southeast Asian nations where it has started businesses 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 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.
In January 2018, the Korea Toray Science Foundation was established to launch similar efforts in the Republic of Korea, where Toray Group's business continues to expand.
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 (MTSF)
Since its inauguration in August 1993, MTSF has extended awards and grants totaling 10.84 million ringgit to 799 researchers and science teachers. MTSF holds an annual award presentation ceremony with the attendance of guests from the Government of Malaysia and the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia. The awards are a badge of honor for the award winners and grant recipients.
- 25th presentation ceremony of Malaysia Toray Science Foundation with Science and Technology Prize winners
Thailand Toray Science Foundation <TTSF>
Since its inauguration in June 1994, TTSF has extended awards and grants totaling 140.30 million baht to 777 researchers and science teachers. TTSF holds an annual award presentation ceremony. From the inaugural ceremony in 1995 through 2009, the ceremony has been 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 and grant winners.
- Toray President Akihiro Nikkaku speaks at the presentation ceremony
Indonesia Toray Science Foundation <ITSF>
From the beginning, ITSF has enlisted the cooperation of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, whose Director-General also chairs the Foundation. Since its inauguration in December 1993, ITSF has extended awards and grants totaling 23.3 billion rupiah to 770 researchers and science teachers. ITSF has assisted many individuals who are contributing to the progress of science and technology in Indonesia. Many of the past recipients of research 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.
- 25th presentation ceremony of the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients
Korea Toray Science Foundation（KTSF）
The Korea Toray Science Foundation was established in 2018, 55 years after Toray Group first began operations in the Republic of Korea. The Foundation's aim is to encourage research and development in that country and expand the next-generation research infrastructure by fostering the development of human resources in the fields of science and engineering. Additional aims include building a sustainable research climate in the Republic of Korea in the fields of chemistry and materials, as well as the promotion of basic science and related industries there. The Foundation has already provided a total of 2.0 billion Korean won in research grants, awards and scholarships for science and technology.
- 1st presentation ceremony of Korea Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients