TOKYO, Mar 31, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – The TANAKA Memorial Foundation’s Representative Director, Hideya Okamoto, announced the recipients of the FY2020 Precious Metals Research Grants.

Following a rigorous screening process, the Gold Awards, each for 2 million yen, were presented to Professor Yasushi Sekine and Professor Hideyuki Murakami, both of Waseda University. In addition, three research projects received Silver Awards, and four Young Researcher Awards were presented.

The TANAKA Memorial Foundation undertakes programs designed to foster developments in new precious metal fields while contributing to the advancement of science, technology, and socio-economics for the overall enrichment of society. The research grant program was launched in FY1999 and has continued each year since with the goal of supporting the various challenges of the “new world opened up by precious metals.” This year, the program’s 22nd year, a total of 171 applications were received in a wide range of fields where precious metals can make contributions to the research and development of new technologies. A total of 16.1 million yen in research grants was awarded for 26 projects.

The names of the two Gold Award recipients, their research, and the reasons for their selection are below.

– Professor Yasushi Sekine, Waseda University

Development and application of precious metal catalytic reactions with unconventional low-temperature action using surface protonics

This research seeks to develop solid catalyst reactions at low temperatures (from room temperature to 200 degrees) using surface protonics. This research and development was highly rated for its potential contributions to the SDGs and ESG investment as well as its ability to make major contributions to the government’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

– Professor Hideyuki Murakami, Waseda University

Development of oxidation resistant Ir-based high-entropy alloy

This research seeks to develop high-entropy alloys, a new category of metal materials that are currently the focus of significant attention, using an iridium (Ir) based alloy to create a material with excellent high-temperature characteristics and oxidation resistance. This research was highly rated because it may lead to a solution to the problem of Ir depletion at high temperatures in the range of 1,000 degrees Celsius and may improve ductility, which is an issue for Ir alloys.

Three Silver Awards, four Young Researcher Awards, and 17 Encouragement Awards were also granted. The recipients and an overview of the Precious Metals Research Grants are indicated below. Applications for the FY2021 research granted are scheduled to open in the fall.

List of FY2020 Precious Metals Research Grants Recipients

– Platinum Award (0 award, 5 million yen)

Non granted

– Gold Award (2 awards, 2 million yen each)

Yasushi Sekine, Professor, Waseda University

Development and application of precious metal catalytic reactions with unconventional low-temperature action using surface protonics

Hideyuki Murakami, Professor, Waseda University

Development of oxidation resistant Ir-based high-entropy alloy

– Silver Awards (3 awards, 1 million yen each)

Ryuji Tamura, Professor, Tokyo University of Science

Precious metal hyper-materials

Masahito Inagaki, Researcher, Nagoya University

Development of nucleic acid cutting technology using silver nano-particles and pharmaceutical development applications

Tatsuya Oshima, Professor, University of Miyazaki

Search for and discovery of optimal ion solvation extraction agent for gold extraction and separation processes

– Young Researcher Awards (4 awards, 1 million yen each)

Noriyuki Uchida, Specially Appointed Assistant Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Photonic precious metal crystal sensors made primarily from water

Yuki Ueda, Researcher, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Development of precious metal element separation and recovery processes using the hydrophobicity of fluorous solvents

Rajashekar Badam, Senior Lecturer, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

IrO2-based organic-inorganic hybrid catalyst with strong metal-base interaction with efficient oxygen generation catalytic activity suitable for water decomposition

Yohei Ishida, Assistant Professor, Hokkaido University

Self-synthesis of multi-element alloy clusters using nano-chemical reaction fields

– Encouragement Award (17 awards, 300,000 yen each)

Shunsuke Shiba, Assistant Professor, EHIME University

Takayuki Iseki, Specially Appointed Prof., Osaka University

Chen Chuantong, Associate Professor, Osaka University

Kohsuke Mori, Associate Professor, Osaka University

Hiromi Yuasa, Professor, Kyushu University

Yoshikazu Hirai, Assistant Professor, Kyoto University

Ken-ichi Fujita, Professor, Kyoto University

Ryo Kasuya, Senior Researcher, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Masahiro Aoyama, Assistant Professor, Shizuoka University

Daisuke Nagai, Associate Professor, University of Shizuoka

Takanari Ouchi, Research Associate, The University of Tokyo

Takuto Soma, Assistant Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Kohei Fujiwara, Associate Professor, Tohoku University

Atsushi Satsuma, Professor, Nagoya University

Naoki Ishimatsu, Assistant Professor, Hiroshima University

Takuya Yamamoto, Associate Professor, Hokkaido University

Yoshiaki Nishijima, Associate Professor, YOKOHAMA National University

Overview of the 2020 Precious Metals Research Grants


Research content that falls under any of the following

– New technology related to precious metals

– Research and development related to precious metals that bring about innovative evolution in products

– Research and development of new products using precious metals

*Precious metal refers to eight elements of platinum, gold, silver, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium.

*If development is conducted jointly (or planned to be) with other material manufacturers, please indicate so.

*Products that have already been commercialized, put to practical use, or that are planned are not eligible.

Grant Amounts:

– Platinum Award: 5 million yen (1 award)

– Gold Award: 2 million yen (1 award)

– Silver Awards: 1 million yen (4 awards)

– Young Researcher Awards: 1 million yen (2 awards)

– Encouragement Award: 300,000 yen (several awards)

*The grant amount is treated as a scholarship donation.

*Awards may not be granted in some cases.

*The number of awards is subject to change.

Eligible Candidates:

– Personnel who belong to (or work for) educational institutions in Japan (universities, graduate schools, or technical colleges) or public and related research institutions may participate.

*As long as the applicant is affiliated with a research institution in Japan, the base of activity can be in Japan or overseas.

*The Young Researcher Awards are for researchers under the age of 37 as of April 1, 2020.

Application Period:

– 9am, September 1, 2020 (Tue) – 5pm, November 30, 2020 (Mon)

Inquiries Concerning the Research Grant Program:

Precious Metals Research Grants Office

Marketing Department, TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.

22F Tokyo Building, 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6422

TEL: 03-6311-5596 FAX: 03-6311-5529 E-mail: [email protected]

TANAKA Memorial Foundation website:

Press release in PDF:

TANAKA Memorial Foundation

Established: April 1, 2015

Address: 22F Tokyo Building, 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Representative: Hideya Okamoto (Senior Advisor to TANAKA Holdings Co., Ltd.)

Purpose of Business: To provide grants for research related to precious metals to contribute to the development and cultivation of new fields for precious metals, and to the development of science, technology, and the social economy.

Areas of Business:

– Provision of grants for scientific and technological research related to precious metals.

– Recognition of excellent analysis of precious metals and holding of seminars and other events.

TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.

Headquarters: 22F, Tokyo Building, 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Representative: Koichiro Tanaka, Representative Director & CEO

Founded: 1885

Incorporated: 1918

Capital: 500 million yen

Employees: 2,393 (as of March 31, 2020)

Sales: JPY 992,679,879,000 (FY2019)

Main businesses: Manufacture, sales, import and export of precious metals (platinum, gold, silver, and others) and various types of industrial precious metals products.


Press Inquiries

TANAKA Holdings Co., Ltd.

Topic: Press release summary

Source: Tanaka Memorial Foundation

Sectors: Metals & Mining, Nanotechnology

From the Asia Corporate News Network

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TANAKA Memorial Foundation Announces Recipients of Precious Metals Research Grants
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