Masao Horiba Awards 2022 is now accepting applications!

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This year’s theme is ‘Analytical and measurement technologies that contribute to the use of hydrogen for a decarbonized society’

The 2022 Masao Horiba Awards will be accepted applications on March 15th. Now in its 18th iteration, HORIBA, Ltd. (Head Office: 2 Miyanohigashi, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Japan; President & COO: Masayuki Adachi; hereinafter, “HORIBA”) started this annual research promotion award in 2003. This year’s theme is “Analytical and measurement technologies that contribute to the use of hydrogen for a decarbonized society”

Under a changing theme every year, the awards entice a large number of researchers to submit applications, from which three will eventually be selected as winners. Through this award, we hope to support future leaders conducting innovative and unique research and to further advance the development of analytical and measurement technologies. We look forward to receiving applications from proactive researchers and engineers who pursue their work while following our company motto of “Joy and Fun.”



The award is focused on the following analytical and measurement technologies that contribute to the use of hydrogen and other related technologies for the decarbonization of society.


Field 1:

Those contributing to the realization of low-cost and low-energy hydrogen production processes. Including the conversion of hydrogen into hydrogen carriers.


Field 2:

Those contributing to carbon neutrality such as Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Using hydrogen as a starting material.




Eligible Applicants: 

Those belonging to domestic or overseas universities or public research institutions

Eligible Research: 

Analytical and measurement technologies that contribute to the use of hydrogen for a decarbonized society

Application Period: 

March 15 – May 10, 2022

Review Method: 

The screening committee will decide 2022 award winners based on actual results and prospects regarding submitted documents

Results Announcement: 

End of July (tentative)


Winners will be awarded a certificate and prize money. A single winner receives 2 million yen (1 million yen/year for two years). Conditions of eligibility must be met continuously.

Award Ceremony and Commemorative Seminar: 

To be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at Shirankaikan, Kyoto University. (Winners will conduct discussions and visual presentations that appeal to the general public.)
*If we change the venue or implementation method, we will inform you of the alternative venue and implementation method on our website.

How to apply: 

For documents to submit and other application details, please visit  Application procedure has changed to on-line format from this year. (No need to send document by mail)


Masao Horiba Awards Office, HORIBA, Ltd. 
2, Miyanohigashi, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto, 601-8510 
TEL: +81-(0)75-325-5110 / E-mail:




Prof. Kenji Yamaji
President/Director-General, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE); Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo


Prof. Osamu Ishitani
Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Science, Chemistry


Prof. Scott Samuelsen
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine  




Prof. Shigeo Satokawa
Faculty of Science and Technology, Seikei University


Prof. Tatsumi Ishihara
Deputy Director, International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy, Kyushu University
Principal Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering




Yusuke Mizuno
Department Manager, Business Incubation Division, Alternative Energy Conversion Center, Head of Alternative Energy Conversion Department, HORIBA, Ltd.


Yasunari Hanaki
Manager, Business Incubation Division, Alternative Energy Conversion Center, New Energy Technology, HORIBA, Ltd.



Award Director: 

Atsushi Horiba
Chairman & Group CEO, HORIBA, Ltd.

Chief of the Organizing Committee
for Masao Horiba Awards 2022:

Masayuki Adachi
President & COO, HORIBA, Ltd.






Fossil-derived petroleum, coal, and natural gas have supported the growth of the global economy and continue to play a major role in the development of mankind. Today, we are entering a new phase. One which aspires towards carbon neutrality. Renewable energy and CO2 reduction technologies are paramount in order to achieve both high living standards and environmental preservation.

To achieve, and even exceed, a carbon neutral target, there needs to be a paradigm shift. One which proactively shifts the industrial activities and economic focus.

Significant efforts are being directed toward a low carbon future by the world’s major economies. Europe has proposed a "Green Recovery" policy that combines climate change targets as well as support for economic recovery. Not only does this policy address issues relating to climate change and enhancing biodiversity; but it also supports the expansion of the economy. Other nations are adopting similar economic stimulus measures that are conscious of the environmental impact. Japan has a target for decarbonization of a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to a benchmark 2013 and the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve these goals, decarbonization in the power generation is a must. Hydrogen is expected to play a pivotal role.

An efficient distribution network is necessary to support the adoption of hydrogen. It’s required not only to be a source for the energy industry but also the industries in which Hydrogen is used as an input material.

Until now, hydrogen has been mainly used as an industrial gas, such as for hydrodesulfurization in the petroleum refining process. Hydrogen is expected however, to be used in wider applications in the future. In addition to producing chemical raw materials and steelmaking for example, it is forecast to be used as an alternative source of energy to substitute petroleum. Research is taking place around the world to accelerate its adoption as a energy vector.

Key challenges for the implementation of hydrogen are diverse: They can be summarized as:

  1. Establishment of production and carrier technologies which can supply large quantities of hydrogen in a stable and low cost manner
  2. Expansion of the use of hydrogen into new applications
  3. Building international hydrogen supply chains

Optimal solutions are required for various problems faced in each of the above challenges.

To address these it will be necessary to:

  • Improve the efficiency of water electrolyzers
  • Efficient use of natural gas
  • Adopt new hydrogen production technologies such as artificial photosynthesis
  • Create technologies to simplify reactions with hydrogen carriers (organic hydrides, ammonia, and so on)

Furthermore, technological innovations in the catalytic reaction processes are required for broader use of hydrogen, with a view to converting it to methanol, ethanol, and other core materials. In addition, attention to reaction modeling and the estimation of variables that are difficult to measure is needed.

The 2022 Masao Horiba Award calls for advanced analysis and measurement technologies that contribute to these technological innovations. Applications from domestic and overseas researchers and engineers who are enthusiastically working to develop these new technologies are most welcome.




HORIBA Group’s history begins with our trail-blazing founder, Masao Horiba, whose initial venture was the first domestic development of the glass electrode pH meter when he was still a university student. Ever since then, we have expanded our business globally to become a manufacturer of a comprehensive line of analytical instruments while also expanding analysis into liquid, gasses, and solids. Collaboration with universities and research institutions has been one of the ways we have supported this development since our company’s founding. The steady efforts of the researchers and engineers who work on our fundamental research have continued to be a driving force in our growth. Having entered into the 21st century, we founded the Masao Horiba Awards in 2003, named after our founder to support the academic research and development which will be the source of new enterprises and commercial endeavors in the fields of analytical and measurement instrument technology, whose social significance only continues to grow. 


This award supports researchers and engineers both in Japan and overseas who are engaged in research and development expected to create an innovative analytical and measurement technology that will further enhance scientific value in that technological field. Choosing a different field each year allows us to focus on research and development with results and future development potential on a global scale. We are seeking proactive participants who understand the “Joy and Fun” of research and development in the target area, from fundamental to application, and who will also be key players in the future development of analytical and measurement technology. 


Our late founder, Masao Horiba:
Masao Horiba pioneered his own venture, Horiba Radio Laboratory, in October 1945 while still a student at the Faculty of Science at Kyoto Imperial University (now Kyoto University). He majored in nuclear physics, and just like his father and professor, Shinkichi Horiba, he had intended to remain at university and become a researcher after graduation. At this time, however, the end of World War II saw the US military destroying cyclotrons and taking other steps to prevent and prohibit nuclear research and experiments, so Masao was unable to continue his university research. This led to the decision to establish a private laboratory where one might conduct experiments and research freely, which is how our company came to be founded.

In January 1953, the company was reorganized as a share-issuing company, and Masao assumed the role of president. As Horiba Radio Laboratory, the plan had been to develop and commercialize electrolytic capacitors, but this plan was aborted due to inflation caused by the Korean War. Instead, the pH meter developed for capacitor production was sold as a product, and HORIBA, Ltd., known today, was established. The company then continued to develop new pH meters one after another in cooperation with universities. In 1978, at the age of 53, Masao assumed the role of chairman, and our current philosophy of “Joy and Fun” was established as the company motto. After taking office as chairman, Masao also worked to support domestic small-to-medium enterprises and startups in an active way to revitalize Kyoto. He also worked towards the fundamental education reforms needed to usher into the future generations of trailblazers. For his contributions to developments in the field of analytical sciences as an entrepreneur who launched a global measuring instrument business with products that support research and technological breakthroughs globally, Masao was the first non-American to be honored with the Pittcon Heritage Award in March 2006 and was entered into the USA’s Pittcon Hall of Fame (for Analytical Chemistry). At the age of 90, Masao passed away in July 2015.