CSR Guidelines & Activity Reports - Social Contribution Activities

Toray Science Foundations around the World

Social Initiatives

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. Toray Industries, Inc. contributed 1 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 such as grants and prizes for basic science have continued to win high praise. Five1 of the recipients of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prizes or Science and Technology Grants have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.

  1. 1 Reona Esaki (recipient of the Foundation’s Science and Technology Prize in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973), 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).

Main activities of Toray Science Foundation2

  1. (1) Toray Science and Technology Grant: This grant provides financial assistance to young researchers engaged in exploratory research in science and technology.
  2. (2) Toray Science and Technology Prize: This prize is awarded to scientists for their distinguished achievements in science and technology.
  3. (3) 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.
  4. (4) 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.
  1. 2 The prize and grant recipients are selected by a third-party committee made up of experts.

Cumulative achievements, fiscal 1960-2018

Category Number awarded Amount
(million yen)
Toray Science and Technology Grant 647 6,755
Toray Science and Technology Prize 123 458
Toray Science Education Prize 684 213
Japan total 1,454 7,426
Grants for researchers outside Japan 3 727 443
Total 2,181 7,869
  1. 3 Including direct grants to universities in 1989-1993 (61 cases, totaling 68 million yen)

59th Toray Science Foundation Presentation Ceremony

The 59th Toray Science Foundation Presentation Ceremony was held in March 2019. The Foundation awarded Eiji Yashima and Hitoshi Kuninaka the Toray Science and Technology Prize, and science teachers the Science Education Prize, and all received certificates, medals, and prize money. Also given was a total of 130 million yen in grants to recipients of the Science and Technology Grants.
Dr. Yashima was recognized for his research into the precision control and function of helical molecules, while Dr. Kuninaka was recognized for his R&D into the microwave discharge of micro ion engines and promoting solar system exploration.

The foundation is known for the Toray Science Education Prize and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize, which was awarded to Shogo Takano, who teaches at Hiramatsu Junior High School in Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture. His students have experienced a heavy rain disaster in the city. He used upper air weather charts to three-dimensionally replicate the meteorological phenomena that caused the heavy rain and helped his students focused on the causal relationship of atmospheric movement to understand common meteorological phenomena.

  • Dr. Eiji Yashima, recipient of the Toray Science and Technology Prize (right)Dr. Eiji Yashima, recipient of the Toray Science and Technology Prize (right)
  • Dr. Hitoshi Kuninaka, recipient of the Toray Science and Technology Prize (right)Dr. Hitoshi Kuninaka, recipient of the Toray Science and Technology Prize (right)
  • Shogo Takano, recipient of the recipient of the Toray Science Education Prize (right)Shogo Takano, recipient of the recipient of the Toray Science Education Prize (right)
  • Toray Science and Technology Grant recipients at 59th presentation ceremonyToray Science and Technology Grant recipients at 59th presentation ceremony

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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, Toray Industries established Korea Toray Science 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 (MTSF)

Since its inauguration in August 1993, MTSF has extended awards and grants totaling 10.23 million ringgit to 744 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.
The 25th Malaysia Toray Science Foundation Award Ceremony was held in November 2018, and a total of 350,000 ringgit in prize money (equivalent to about 9.5 million yen) and grants were awarded to two Malaysian scientists, 12 young researchers and 15 science teachers (a total of 29 recipients). Deputy Secretary General Dr. Ramzah Dambul, speaking on behalf of the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, expressed his appreciation to Toray Group for giving Malaysian scientists inspiration and actively helping to elevate the research culture in Malaysia since MTSF was founded in 1993.

  • 25th presentation ceremony of Malaysia Toray Science Foundation with Science and Technology Prize winners25th presentation ceremony of Malaysia Toray Science Foundation with Science and Technology Prize winners

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Thailand Toray Science Foundation <TTSF>

Since its inauguration in June 1994, TTSF has extended awards and grants totaling 129.38 million baht to 716 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.
The 25th Thailand Toray Science Foundation Award Presentation Ceremony was held in Bangkok in March 2019, and two Science and Technology Awards, 20 Science and Technology Research Grants and nine Science Education Awards were presented to the winners, for a total of 5.335 million baht (equivalent to about 18.3 million yen) in prize money and grants. After the awards were presented, His Excellency General Surayud Chulanont took to the podium and encouraged the awardees to advance research for the technological growth of Thailand.

  • 25th presentation ceremony of Thailand Toray Science Foundation with Science and Technology Award winners25th presentation ceremony of Thailand Toray Science Foundation with Science and Technology Award winners

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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 21.4 billion rupiah to 715 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.
The 25th presentation ceremony of Indonesia Toray Science Foundation was held in Jakarta in March 2019; 18 scientists were awarded the Science and Technology Research Grant and 10 science teachers received the Science Education Award, for a total of 1.127 billion rupia (equivalent to about 8.6 million yen).
On the day before the ceremony, a briefing session by the winners of the fiscal 2018 grants was held along with a science education seminar. In the seminar, one education specialist delivered lectures and the 10 recipients of this year’s Science Education Award gave presentations.

  • 25th presentation ceremony of the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients25th presentation ceremony of the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients

Korea Toray Science Foundation(KTSF)

KTSF was established in January 2018 to contribute to the promotion of science and technology in the Republic of Korea.
The first award presentation ceremony for the KTSF was held in October 2018 at a venue in Seoul. Two Science and Technology Awards, four Science Technology Research Grants and four Technology Research Grants were presented to the winners, for a total of 400 million won (equivalent to about 40 million yen) in prize money and grants. Toray Industries President Akihiro Nikkaku addressed the audience and congratulated the award recipients on behalf of the Company.
The guest speaker was Dr. Ryoji Noyori, 1990 recipient of Toray Science & Technology Prize and winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who currently serves an outside director of Toray Industries.

  • 1st presentation ceremony of Korea Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients 1st presentation ceremony of Korea Toray Science Foundation, with science and technology grant recipients

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