The World Cultural Council (WCC) and the University of Tsukuba are highly honoured to invite you to the 36th WCC Award Ceremony in conjunction with the "Tsukuba Conference" in Tsukuba Science City, Japan. On this occasion the 2019 "Albert Einstein" World Award of Science and the "Leonardo da Vinci" World Award of Arts will be presented. WCC Special Recognitions will be bestowed on several distinguished Japanese scholars.
About The University of Tsukuba
With over 140 years of history including three Nobel prizes and over 100 Olympic medals, the University of Tsukuba has a long and distinguished tradition of excellence. Located less than an hour from central Tokyo, at the heart of Tsukuba Science City—Japan’s premier science and technology research hub—the university offers a pleasant and green environment for faculty, staff and students to engage in cutting-edge academic research and training.
In 1973, the university was relocated from Tokyo to Tsukuba, and re-established with the aim of being a global institution open to all—both within and outside Japan. We aim to develop integrative approaches to research and education, which allow our graduates to be active in solving future challenges. Our slogan IMAGINE THE FUTURE encapsulates our hope for a better future, based on “shikon risai” (師魂理才) or the concept of human kindness, which helps bring people together, allowing them to solve problems rationally for mutual benefit.
The University of Tsukuba is consistently ranked in Japan's top 10 universities. The QS World University Rankings place us the 13th Best University younger than 50 years old. The University of Tsukuba has about 17,000 students, including 2,300 international students, and about 1,800 academics in 10 faculties (Humanities and Social Sciences, Business Sciences, Pure and Applied Sciences, Engineering, Information and Systems, Life and Environmental Sciences, Human Sciences, Health and Sport Sciences, Art and Design, Medicine, Library, Information and Media Science) as well as 18 research centers.
The university has made it its goal to develop an organization better suiting the functions and administration with a new concept of education and research highly international in character, rich in diversity and flexibility and capable of dealing sensitively with the changes occurring in contemporary society.
ABOUT THE WCC
The World Cultural Council is an international organization based in Mexico. Founded in the early eighties, it seeks to promote culture, goodwill and philanthropy among individuals.
Since 1984 the WCC has held a yearly Award Ceremony granting prizes to outstanding scientists, educators and artists whose breakthroughs in the fields of knowledge, learning and research have contributed positively to the cultural enrichment of mankind.
Each ceremony is held in a different country with a renowned university or academic institute acting as host. The WCC and Tsukuba University are enthusiastic about this new partnership, which provides the opportunity to disseminate our many shared values, especially that of contributing to the progress of science and culture.
It will be a very special occasion for the WCC to hold its Award Ceremony within the frame of the Tsukuba Conference. Bringing together global leaders in the field of science, technology and innovation, the conference will engender opportunities for these to express their visions of the future and to meet potential partners for solving a diverse range of social issues.
THE 2019 AWARDS
The annual "Albert Einstein" World Award of Science was created as a recognition for scientists who have accomplished scientific and/or technological achievements which have brought progress and benefit to mankind. The laureate is selected by the Council’s Interdisciplinary Committee, composed of highly acknowledged scientists from across the globe.
2019 Albert Einstein World Award of Science
The winner of the 2019 Albert Einstein World Award of Science is Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Chair and Regents Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.
The prize is awarded for Dr. Wang's pioneering and seminal contributions to the discovery, innovation and implementation of nanogenerators and self-powered systems. These innovations enable unprecedented new technologies for harvesting energy from the environment and biological systems, with applications in personal electronics, sensor networks, biomedical and healthcare devices, and environmental monitoring.
The jury also acknowledged the significant impact of his discoveries and breakthroughs, which have already inspired worldwide efforts in academia and industry towards a wide range of technological applications that will be of great benefit to humankind and the sustainable development of our society.
Dr. Zhong Lin Wang received his Ph.D. in Physics from Arizona State University in 1987. Throughout his career, he has made seminal and pioneering contributions to developing new energy and sensor technology that are expected to change the world in the near future.
He is best known for the discovery and development of nanogenerators for self-powered systems and large-scale blue energy, an unprecedented technology for harvesting energy from the environment and biological systems, for applications in personal electronics, internet of things, biomedical devices, environmental monitoring and robotics. His innovations also provide a revolutionary approach for obtaining large-scale energy from daily life non-polluting sources with potential to harvest huge amounts of energy from ocean waves, aimed at solving the future energy needs of the world.
Wang's discovery and breakthroughs in developing nanogenerators have established the principle and technological road map for using mechanical energy for powering mobile sensors. He first showed that the nanogenerator originated from the Maxwell’s displacement current and revived the applications of Maxwell’s equations in energy and sensors. His recent understanding on the physics of triboelectrification solves a 2,600 year old science problem and establishes the foundation for triboelectric nanogenerators.
His research on self-powered nanosystems has inspired the worldwide efforts in academia and industry for harvesting ambient energy for micro-nanosystems, which is now a distinct discipline in energy science – nano energy.
Nanogenerators have the potential to revolutionize every corner of our life, ranging from the internet of things, to human-machine interfacing for robotics and artificial intelligence, implantable medical devices, health care, self-powered sensors for infrastructure monitoring and even environmental protection.
It is remarkable that his discoveries and inventions originate from innovative and creative unprecedented fundamental studies based on basic physical properties of materials and long-known theories, such as piezoelectricity and triboelectricity.
Dr. Wang has already published a remarkable number of peer reviewed papers 1,500 including 55 in Nature, Science and sister journals, and has an enormous impact on the nanotechnology community as measured by the number of citations (over 205,000) and has an H-index of 226, according to Google Scholar, June 2019. In addition to being a chair professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, he is also the director of Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems.
Finally, Dr. Wang's personal qualities should not be overlooked. He has been described as a “natural leader, always very kind, inspiring, full of energy, with a positive impact on everyone collaborating with him.”
The "Leonardo da Vinci" World Award of Arts was instituted as a means of acknowledging an outstanding figure or innovator in any discipline or expression of art, whose work constitutes a significant contribution to the artistic legacy of the world. The distinction of this award is substantiated by the world-renowned authorities from a variety of fields comprising the multidisciplinary jury. The Award is given in alternate years.
2019 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts
The 2019 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts will be presented to Portuguese independent film producer, Paulo Branco.
This recognition is given for Mr. Branco's engagement with new views on cinematographic expressions and his dedicated commitment to cultivating intensive communication and activity between the different fields of culture, such as literature, fine arts and music.
It is a prize granted for his prolific and varied achievements in the dynamics of independent cinema, producing and coproducing with film directors from four continents, constantly open to new ideas, opening new paths and building bridges worldwide, as well as his dedicated commitment to bringing together different fields of culture, such as literature, fine arts and music.
Born in Lisbon in 1950, Paulo Branco is a Portuguese independent film producer. Since 1979 he has produced or coproduced over 300 films, working with Portuguese and international directors from four continents, and often giving the chance of a screen debut to aspiring filmmakers who have gone on to become great cinematographers. His constant openness to new ideas and support for creative figures from all over the globe make him a truly unifying force, whose contribution to the enrichment of cinema is colossal.
According to John Malkovich, Branco is “possibly the most prodigious producer of art films in the history of cinema”, while German director Wim Wenders describes him as “a producer of the kind that has almost altogether vanished: he cares for his films and invests himself personally.” His work entails the arduous job of finding financing for arthouse films, described by Wenders as a “Herculean task”, but one that he successfully achieved, constantly providing alternatives to mainstream production.
Paulo Branco has promoted Portuguese and European cinema at international festivals, where he has also sat on the jury or been its president. 27 of his films have been included in the Official Selection at Cannes, while 48 have been presented at Venice Film Festival.
In his home country, he has also facilitated access to culture by distributing films and building cinema theatres. He is the Director and founder of the Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival, which he founded in 2007. Fostering dialogue between cinema, literature, music and the visual arts, this encounter supports reflection and debate on the great issues of our times. Every year Paulo welcomes some of the world’s greatest film directors (such as Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pedro Almodovar), writers, actors, artists and musicians, among others. His commitment to independent cinema in Portugal has helped to bolster its position on the cultural map of the world.
During his 40-year career, Branco has been awarded numerous accolades for his work, including “Greatest European Producer” by the European Parliament in 1997, the “Gabriela Mistral Order” – the highest distinction in Chile in 1998, the first Premio Raimondo Rezzonico (The Best Independent Producer Award) at the Locarno Film Festival in 2002 and the Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et Des Lettres de la Republique Francaise, France, in 2004 and the CINEUROPA Award in 2014.
The work of Paulo Branco has made a huge contribution to furthering the aesthetic horizon of cinema, in Portugal and worldwide, as well as broadening the cultural formation of audiences and the public in general.
Every year, the World Cultural Council grants special acknowledgements to five to ten young researchers or scholars of the host country who have achieved outstanding performance in the fields of science, education or arts. We consider it important to recognise, encourage and give visibility to these young scholars whose current work is breaking ground.
For the 2019 Ceremony, these scholars should be from the fields of Science or Arts.
- Shinichi Enami
- Senior Researcher, Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies
- Working in atmospheric and environmental chemistry, Dr. Enami has succeeded in elucidating the mechanism of the Fenton reaction, which was unknown for more than 120 years after Fenton’s finding. This achievement has huge impact on several fields, including atmospheric chemistry, biochemistry and green sustainable chemistry. Recently, by developing a surprisingly creative technique, he discovered an important cloud formation mechanism involving hitherto uncharacterized carbonyl oxides. His results have major environmental implications regarding global climate change and the role of atmospheric aerosols.
- Yasunori Ichihashi
- Team Leader at Japan’s RIKEN BioResource Research Center
- In 2018, Dr. Ichihashi started own lab aiming to fully understand the regulatory mechanism behind plant-microbe symbiosis and provide a research platform leading to industrial applications.
Despite his young age, he has organized a primary national research supported by the Japanese Cabinet Office, calling for industry-academia-government collaboration to maximize Japanese efforts to accelerate plant-microbe symbiosis study.
He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and review papers including PNAS, Nature Plants and Plant Cell and also received the Young Scientist award for plant morphology.
- Kazuhiro Ikeda
- Group Leader, Electronics and Photonics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
- Dr. Ikeda is a young research leader driving cutting-edge research on large-scale silicon photonic integrated circuits. He has pioneered on-chip nonlinear optical devices based on Si nitride and amorphous Si waveguides, along with optical filtering devices based on grating-assisted Si waveguides. Thanks to his leadership, several publications from his group have been accepted as high-impact papers in major optical-communication conferences. He is also playing a leading role in organizing outreach activities across universities and research institutes.
Dr. Ikeda has published 60 journal papers, 90 international conference presentations, 20 patents, and three book chapters.
- Yasunori Kikuchi
- Associate Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, University of Tokyo
- Dr. Kikuchi’s research interests are systems design and assessments in sustainability science. Sophisticated technology assessments are conducted on technoeconomic, socioeconomic, and sociotechnical aspects with municipalities and regional industries.
His approach is to apply multiple assessment methods to co-learning among stakeholders and scientists to bridge gaps in the knowledge and understanding of technology options. His transdisciplinary research activities may well contribute to the acceleration of technology transfer.
Dr. Kikuchi has received numerous accolades, including the Award for Outstanding Young Researcher from the Japanese Society of Chemical Engineers in 2016.
- Masayuki Matsumoto
- Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
- Following an Assistant Professorship at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, Dr. Matsumoto is now Professor in the Laboratory of Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience at Tsukuba. His unique and highly admired research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying psychological phenomena such as attention, emotion, learning, decision-making, and motivation.
For instance, while the midbrain dopamine system has been known as a key structure in regulating animals’ positive motivation, he discovered that this system has more diverse functions, such as facilitating memory, orienting attention and guiding animals’ decisions.
- Hiroyuki Miyauchi
- Senior Research Engineer, Department of Building Materials and Components, Building Research Institute
- Dr. Miyauchi has established the “Platform for Architectural-Drone (UAV) Technology” in industry, government and academia in Japan. His innovative creation depends on the interdisciplinary fusion between building durability and drone research. His basic primary fields of study are durability, service life, and the sustainability of building envelope systems related water tightness and weatherability, including sealants. Dr. Miyauchi has developed an innovative drone system with an auto-pilot for inspection buildings and natural disasters, and established the Japanese Architectural Drone Association to smoothly advance societal implementation.
- Yuko Shimada
- Assistant Professor, Life Science Center for Survival Dynamics, Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba
- In 2014, Dr. Shimada reported the discovery of a group of serotonin-producing neurons regulating the timing of steroid hormone biosynthesis in response to nutrition. This neuronal regulatory mechainsm underlies the survival fitness of animals in their transition from juvenile to adult stages. Her work provides insight into the conserved neuroendocrine system of maturation in the animal kingdom.
In 2017, Dr. Shimada started her own laboratory, expanding her research on nutrient-dependent mechanisms in animal development, and motivating her students with her great enthusiasm.
- Ken-ichi Uchida
- Group Leader, Research Center for Magnetic and Spintronic Materials, National Institute for Materials Science
- Dr. Uchida has developed the novel science and technology of “Spin Caloritronics”, an interdisciplinary field between spintronics physics and thermal energy engineering.
To achieve unconventional thermoelectric generation and thermal energy control, he has investigated various thermo-spin conversion phenomena by means of cutting-edge heat and spin detection techniques. His discoveries have stimulated fundamental and applied studies in spintronics and in condensed matter physics and thermo-electrics, paving the way to next-generation energy-harvesting and thermal management technologies.
- Yutaka Ushiroda
- Professor, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, Group Leader, Belle Group, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies
- The Belle II project seeks to study Physics Beyond the Standard Model, or BSM, to understand the most fundamental principles of the universe. Dr. Ushiroda has been a member of Belle II Steering Committee/Executive Board since 2008, and Project Manager since 2015.
This project is currently the only electron-positron collider in the world which can study bottom quarks. The SuperKEKB accelerator has successfully started operations; the first collisions are recorded by the Belle II detector in April 2018. Under Dr. Ushiroda’s excellent coordination, it will provide ground-breaking results on BSM.
- Taiyo Yoshioka
- Researcher, Division of Biotechnology, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
- Dr. Yoshioka studies high-performance silk, aspiring to ultimately see petroleum-based plastics replaced by biological materials. He has found that the silk fibre produced by bagworms has the strongest mechanical properties among various natural fibres and has developed a technique for collecting long fibres from bagworms, enabling their industrial application.
Dr. Yoshioka has, furthermore, clarified the structural features underlying the mechanical properties of bagworm silk, which should provide an important basis for creating even stronger and tougher artificial silk.
October 3, 2019
- In the afternoon
- Special Lecture by Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, President, World Cultural Council
October 4, 2019
- In the morning
- Special Lecture by Dr. Zhong Lin Wang
Winner of the 2019 Albert Einstein World Award of Science
“Nanogenerators for self-powered systems, internet of things and large-scale blue energy”
- Special Lecture by Paulo Branco
Winner of the 2019 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts
“How producing films can be a creative process?”
- In the afternoon
- 36th World Cultural Council Award Ceremony
Tsukuba International Congress Center 2-20-3 Takezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan