10th Anniversary Ceremony of the Gottfried Wagener Prize

On June 26, 2018 the winners of the German Innovation Award - Gottfried Wagener Prize 2018 were announced during the 10th anniversary ceremony of the award at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.

  • © AHK Japan
    The awardees (center), the speakers and the organisers of the 10th German Innovation Award

The German Innovation Award (GIA) was established in 2008 by the German Chamber of Commerce in Japan and technology-focused German companies to promote cross-sector collaboration between industry and science while fostering the creation of new and the expansion of existing German-Japanese research networks. The German Innovation Award is awarded once a year to Japan-based young scientists for outstanding research in the categories Materials, Digitalization and Mobility, Energy, as well as Life Sciences.

This year 84 applications from affiliates of 37 different universities and other research institutions were submitted. The award ceremony was opened by Marcus Schürmann, Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Japan. The German Ambassador to Japan Dr. Hans Carl von Werthern and State Minister of Cabinet Office Jiro Akama addressed the audience as guests of honor. At the special occasion of the 10th anniversary ceremony, the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek as patron of the GIA extended her congratulations to the winners and the organizers of the award via a video message. All speakers stressed the importance of science collaboration between Japan and Germany in the context of global challenges.

The key notes were followed by a high-profile panel discussion titled “AI Disruption: Preparing for a Super Smart Society”, addressing the potentials of artificial intelligence (AI) for all parts of society and the challenges for drivers of innovation in filling the roles needed for realizing the benefits of AI. The panel was joined by Takaaki Umezawa, Japan Chairman and Partner of A.T. Kearney, Hiromi Okuda, CEO and Founder of Wiz. Group, Inc., Prof. Dr. Takao Someya, Professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Tokyo, as well as Koichi Fujikawa, Found of FlyData Inc. The discussion was moderated by Berthold Wolfram, President and CEO of Continental Automotive Corporation.

The subsequent announcement of the awardees was made by Professor Dr. Masuo Aizawa, Counselor to the President of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Chairman of the distinguished permanent Jury of the GIA. Each of the award winners receives 2,500,000 Yen prize money. Altogether 200 or so guests from academia, business, politics and the press attended the ceremony.

The following reception provided an opportunity to the participants to exchange thoughts in a relaxed atmosphere.