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Fourteenth Japan Innovators Award: Grand Prize Goes to CEO of PEZY Computing

Tokyo – October 22, 2015 - Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Kohei Osada; Tokyo) has announced the winners of 14th Japan Innovators Award 2015. Established in 2002, the award aims to stimulate the country by shedding light on unique and innovative individuals.

The nomination was made from individuals in a broad range of fields, who had breathed new life into Japanese industries by creating new industries and business models, new technologies for the future, and new universal values. The final selection committee was held the other day, and the winners of the Grand Prize, Excellence Award, and Special Award were decided. The Soft Power Award was also given in the Content category for this year.

The awarding ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on November 27 (Fri.) at Conrad Tokyo in Minato-ward of Tokyo.

Grand Prize

Mr. Motoaki Saito
CEO, PEZY Computing
CEO, ExaScaler
Dr. Saito led a small group on the project to develop fully made-in-Japan supercomputing processors within a short period of time. Keys to the success were the originally-developed large-scale many-core accelerators (multiple-core central processing units) and the submersion liquid cooling system. Three microprocessors developed by PEZY achieved less power consumption and smaller sizes, which led to win the top three spots on the “Green 500” most energy-efficient supercomputer ranking released at the end of this July. His companies have been in the spotlight for cutting-edge technological capabilities to develop almost any kinds of high-tech solutions required for supercomputers.

Excellence Award

Mr. Yoshihiro Maeda
CEO & Founder, Linkers
Linkers is a business service provider boasting more than 90% success rate of business matching between 430,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and the large corporations in Japan and abroad. The company organizes an expert group of 1,200 coordinators who usually belong to regional associations and financial institutions and who are knowledgeable about local SMEs. These coordinators help to assess the details of technologies, products and development capabilities of SMEs which are often reluctant to show their cards. This model led to boost the number of successful partnerships.

Mr. Hiroshi Michiwaki
President, NejiLaw
Mr. Michiwaki is the inventor of L/R Neji, dubbed as “the screw that never comes loose”. Its original design is characterized by two nuts that spin in opposite directions (one spins to the right, and the other spins to the left), securing the screw to never come loose. Planned for mass production during the next fiscal year, the product is anticipated for applications in bridge and other infrastructure projects as well as aerospace purposes.

Special Award

Mr. Hisashi Taniguchi
ZMP invented the autonomous driving system enabling high-speed and high-precision vehicle localization. The system adopted the SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) technology which identifies the vehicle location with cameras and radar and without relying on road signs and GPS. This year, the company has also launched the Robot Taxi project jointly with DeNA to establish a business model for autonomous taxi services, showing the innovative venture spirit being on par with major automakers.

Soft Power Award

Mr. Yusuke Nakagawa
Mr. Nakagawa leads the company creating cutting-edge culture movements including the girl pop artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. ASOBISYSTEM has contributed to promote the Kawaii (cute) culture including fashion, music, and lifestyle of Tokyo’s Harajuku district to all parts of Japan and the world, and has become the symbol of Cool Japan.

[Selection Criteria]

A prospective winner must exhibit originality in his/her idea, ability to put the idea into action, and potential to significantly affect Japanese industries with the idea, as well as a certain level of results already made. Individuals of any genre, whether he/she is a corporate engineer, academic researcher, or corporate manager, are eligible.

[Points of Evaluation]

  1. Whether the idea has given rise to new and original value born in Japan.
  2. Whether the value has been regarded highly both in Japan and overseas.
  3. Whether it has spurred the country in some way, directly or indirectly.

[Selection Procedure]

Candidates were sought through the Nikkei Business magazine, Nikkei Business Online, and other departments of Nikkei BP, from July to August 2015. Of these candidates, 27 people were nominated for final selection.

[Selection Committee] (Honorifics omitted)


Hiroshi Komiyama Chairman, Mitsubishi Research Institute
28th President, the University of Tokyo


Ken Sakamura Professor, the University of Tokyo, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies
Mari Matsunaga Independent Director, Terumo
Yoshihiko Miyauchi Senior Chairman, Orix
Akira Morikawa CEO, C Channel
Seiichiro Yonekura Professor, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University

Organized by: Nikkei Business Publications
Sponsored by: Daiichi Sankyo

For further details, please contact:
Global Business Division
Phone: +81-(0)3-6811-8311
Fax: +81-(0)3-5421-9804

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and business performance. Those forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and the company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, general business and economic conditions, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, cancellation or delay of customer orders.

About NikkeiBP

Nikkei Business Publications is part of The Nikkei group, which has newspaper publication as its main business and three additional business divisions of digital media, publishing and broadcasting under its umbrella. Covering a wide variety of specialized areas including business, computer, electronics, construction, services and medicine, Nikkei Business Publications, in July 2008, merged with its sister company, Nikkei Home Publishing, to also bring consumer magazines into its portfolio.

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