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Kyoto Prize

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Country  Japan
First awarded  1985
Presented by  Inamori Foundation
Official website
Kyoto Prize
Awarded for  Global achievements in Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, Arts and Philosophy

The Kyoto Prize (京都賞, Kyōto-shō) is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. The Prize is given not only to those that are top representatives of their own respective field, but also to those that have contributed to humanity with their work. The Kyoto Prizes are regarded by many as the most prestigious award available in fields that are traditionally not honored with a Nobel Prize. The Prize has been awarded annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, founded by Kazuo Inamori. The honorary president of the Foundation is Princess Takamado.



The Kyoto Prize has been awarded annually to "those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind". The Prizes are given in the fields of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Within each broad category, the prize rotates among subfields, e.g. the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology rotates across electronics, biotechnology, materials science and engineering, and information science. The Prizes are regarded by many as the most prestigious award available in fields that are traditionally not honored with a Nobel Prize.

The laureates are announced each June; the prize presentation ceremony and related events are held in Kyoto, Japan, each November. The Prizes were endowed with 50 million yen.

With the 2015 Kyoto laureates, the three-category prizes have honored 99 individuals and one foundation (the Nobel Foundation). Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers, and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians, and film directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (42), followed by Japan (18), the United Kingdom (12), and France (8).

The 2015 Kyoto Laureates

The Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology was awarded to Toyoki Kunitake for "Pioneering Contributions to the Materials Sciences by Discovering Synthetic Bilayer Membranes and Creating the Field of Chemistry Based on Molecular Self-Assembly". The Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences was awarded to Michel Mayor for his "Outstanding Contributions in Evolving a New Vision of the Universe through the Discovery of Extrasolar Planet". The Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy was awarded to John Neumeier for being "A Choreographer Who Developed 20th Century Ballet to New Levels, and Continues to Lead the Global Dance Scene Today".


Kyoto Prize Wikipedia