The Asahi Glass Foundation

AGC’s Research Grant Program and Commendation Program Contribute to the Development of the International Community

Research grant presentation ceremony

Research grant presentation ceremony

The Asahi Glass Foundation strives to contribute to the goal to contribute progress and social endeavors that enrich people’s lives by supporting advanced research in the fields of science and technology and by recognizing efforts to solve environmental issues.

Through its Research Grant Program, the Asahi Glass Foundation provides research grants to universities in Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. By 2015, it had given 9.5 billion yen in research funding to about 7,800 projects. The foundation’s Commendation Program includes the Blue Planet PrizeOpen New Window, an international environmental award started in 1992, as well as a survey on the global environment. One of the survey results is published every year as the Environmental Doomsday Clock.

2015 Blue Planet Prizes Awarded to Two Individual Researchers

Dr. Yoshihiro Hayashi, Chairman of the Selection Committee makes an explanation about the selection process, and the recipients with their families

Dr. Yoshihiro Hayashi, Chairman of the Selection Committee makes an explanation about the selection process, and the recipients with their families

The Blue Planet PrizeOpen New Window is an international environmental award that, as of 2015, has been presented a total of 24 times. It is presented annually to two individuals or organizations that make significant contributions in scientific research or applications and practices to solve global environmental problems.

In fiscal 2015, the Blue Planet Prize was awarded to two scholars: Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta of the United Kingdom and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of the United States.

Professor Dasgupta’s work demonstrated that the concepts of intergenerational equity and sustainable development are equivalent, thereby integrating the historically disparate fields of development economics and environmental economics. In a wide-ranging book on human well-being and the natural environment, he showed that economic progress should be judged according to a comprehensive measure of a nation’s stock rather than by GDP or other indicators. Professor Dasgupta has also pioneered the study of poverty in rural areas of developing countries. Having created a new basis for economic reasoning by elucidating the economic implications of environmental trends, his work continues to have a major impact on contemporary economic thought.

Professor Sachs has an impressive record of helping countries that are struggling to develop or restructure their economies, overcome economic crises and make progress toward sustainable development. By applying his interdisciplinary and innovative “clinical economics” in countries undergoing restructuring, he has fostered an understanding of equality among their citizens, and contributed to helping people make progress in economic development and overcome extreme poverty through the establishment of smallholder agriculture and social services as methods for resolving issues related to governance, poverty, public health, education and the environment. As a scholar, practitioner and senior advisor to governments and the United Nations, Professor Sachs continues to have an enormous impact on our world.

An awards ceremony was held on October 14 at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, where the prize-winners were greeted by Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino. The winners gave commemorative lectures on the following day, October 15, at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

Lecture topics:
  • Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta: “Sustainable Development and the Wealth of Nations”
  • Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs: “Meeting the Challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals” (Note 1)

(Note 1) Sustainable Development Goals recognized by the United Nations

Main Programs Implemented by the Asahi Glass Foundation

Research Grant Program

  1. Natural Sciences Research Grants
    (Research Encouragement Grants, Continuation Grants for Young Researchers and Continuation Grants for Outstanding Projects)
  2. Humanities and Social Sciences Grants
    (Research Encouragement Grants, Continuation Grants for Young Researchers and Continuation Grants for Outstanding Projects)
  3. Environmental Research Grants
  4. Overseas Research Grants (Thailand and Indonesia)
  5. Research grants-related activities (Research Grant Presentation Ceremony and Seminar on Research Findings, etc.)
Results in 2015
  • Total number of grants: 137 (104 in Japan and 33 in other countries)
  • Total amount of grants: 265 million yen

Commendation Program

  1. Blue Planet PrizeOpen New Window (International environmental award)
    • Award ceremony
    • Commemorative lectures
  2. Other Environment-related activities
    • Annual survey: “Questionnaire on Environmental Problems and the Survival of Humankind”
    • Announcements concerning the foundation’s international activities on global environmental issues

Major Publications

  • Annual reports, af-News, reports of subsidized research results, and reports of the “Questionnaire on Environmental Problems and the Survival of Humankind” survey results
  • Publications related to other research grant and commendation programs

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