Masao Horiba Awards 2024 is now accepting applications!

|   Press Release

This year’s theme is ‘Analytical and Measurement Technologies for a Clean Water Environment and Sustainable Society.’

The 2024 Masao Horiba Awards will be accepting applications on February 14th. Now in its 20th iteration, HORIBA, Ltd. (hereinafter, “HORIBA”) started this annual research promotion award in 2003. This year’s theme is “Analytical and Measurement Technologies for a​ Clean Water Environment & ​Sustainable Society​”.

Every year, the awards attract numerous researchers who submit applications based on a new theme, and this award especially encourages young researchers and engineers. 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 for a​ Clean Water Environment & ​Sustainable Society .

Field 1:
Novel Measurement Technologies for Sustainable Water Environment.

Field 2:
Novel Water Quality Sensing Technologies & Systems for ​Sustainable Water Treatment​.


Liquid samples, mainly composed of water, including biological specimens, fall within the scope of the application. This covers research on advancing sensing technologies, including increased longevity, miniaturization, energy efficiency, resource conservation, zero emissions, and simplification. However, studies exclusively contributing to the advancement of pathology or medicine are excluded.​



Eligible Applicants: Those belonging to universities or public research institutions in and out of Japan and is an emerging researcher, whose work is yet to be recognized as a major accomplishment in the field.

Eligible Research: Analytical and Measurement Technologies for a Clean Water Environment and Sustainable Society

Application Period: February 14 – May 10, 2024

Review Method: The screening committee will decide the 2024 award winners based on actual results and prospects regarding submitted documents.

Results Announcement: End of July (tentative)

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

Award Ceremony and Commemorative Seminar: To be held on Thursday, October 17, 2024 at Kyoto University. (Winners will conduct discussions and visual presentations that appeal to the general public.)

How to apply: For documents to submit and other application details, please visit

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


Award Screening Committee

Susumu​ Kuwabata
Department of Applied Chemistry,
Graduate School of Engineering
Osaka University

Paul K. Westerhoff​
School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Arizona State University 

Qinghui Huang
Associate Professor​
College of Environmental Science and Engineering
Tongji University

Akio Imai
Research Collaboration Coordinator Regional Environment Conservation Division
National Institute for Environmental Studies

​Madoka​ Takai
Department of Bioengineering
School of Engineering
The University of Tokyo

Yuichi Ichinari
Deputy General Manager
Advanced Technology Development Department, Development Division
HORIBA Advanced Techno Co., Ltd.

Yuji Nishio
Senior Meister
Advanced Technology Development Department, Development Division
HORIBA Advanced Techno Co., Ltd.

<Award Director>
Atsushi Horiba
Chairman & Group CEO

<Chief of the Organizing Committee >
Masayuki Adachi
President & COO

<Vice Chief of the Organizing Committee>   
Hirosh Nakamura
Corporate Officer, Chief Technology Officer,



In recent years, with the environmental changes of our planet, there has been a growing interest in sustainable development in various industries, of which water quality analysis and measurement technologies are becoming increasingly important. Water is the foundation of our life and an indispensable resource in a wide range of areas, including drinking water, agriculture, and industrial activities. Water flows from rivers to the oceans, evaporates from the oceans, falls to the earth's surface as rain and snow, and returns to the oceans through rivers. In our daily lives, we use only a small portion of the water in this never-ending cycle, but there have been numerous occasions in the past when the accumulated impact of human industrial activities has become a major water quality issue. 

As our rapidly developing society becomes increasingly concerned about the impact of substances contained in wastewater from industrial activities on the global environment and ecosystems, stricter regulations are inevitable. In addition to new measurement technologies to detect substances that have been difficult to measure in the past, new measurement technologies to quickly and easily detect substances (e.g., microplastics and organic fluorine compounds) that have not yet been established as a means of easy on-site detection, even though they already exist technically as detection methods, are needed to protect clean water and the environment. This new measurement technology will be necessary for the future preservation of a clean water environment. In addition, upgrading water treatment systems is essential for achieving a sustainable water cycle. Treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater for the purpose of reducing the environmental impact of its discharge, or to maintain a safe drinking quality of river water and groundwater, is necessary to establish a water cycle in any country or region in the world. Water treatment systems are closely related to analysis and measurement in that proper management is achieved by monitoring water quality before and after treatment, and they complement each other. Water quality sensing technology and water quality measurement systems are required to contribute to the advancement of water treatment technology in order to efficiently utilize limited water resources and strengthen the foundation for building a recycling-oriented society.

The 2024 Masao Horiba Awards will be open to the above-mentioned water quality analysis and measurement technologies that are expected to contribute to the conservation of the water environment and are necessary for the creation of a sustainable society. This call also includes advanced research that reduces the environmental burden of conventional water quality analysis and measurement technologies (e.g., miniaturization, resource conservation, and longevity, as well as methods for analyzing and analyzing data to achieve these goals). We welcome applications from researchers and engineers both from and outside of Japan who are eager to advance analytical and measurement technologies to protect all types of water quality around the world.



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 emerging 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.