Chemist Professor Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue from TUM, Japanologist Professor Dr. Regine Mathias from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, materials physicist Professor Dr. Hidenori Takagi from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and jurist Professor Kanako Takayama from the University of Kyoto are each to receive the €15,000 award. Through years of dedication, they have successfully contributed to both academic and cultural exchange between Germany and Japan.
The choice of two Japanese researchers integrated in the German research system for this year's prize, reflects the new realities of the globalisation of research, the jury noted. "In selecting four prizewinners, the DFG is once again sending out a strong message in support of German-Japanese cooperation," said the chair of the jury, DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Julika Griem. "We believe we have chosen an academically excellent group of individuals who are highly committed to promoting German-Japanese relations, and with the inclusion of two highly qualified women, it also fulfils the DFG's Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality." Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the award ceremony for the Seibold Prize will not take place until next year.
The Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize has been presented by the DFG to Japanese and German researchers since 1997. The prize money comes from a fund set up by Eugen and Ilse Seibold. After this year's awards have been presented, the proceeds of this fund will be exhausted, with the result that the prize cannot be awarded again. Marine geologist Eugen Seibold was President of the DFG between 1980 and 1985. In 1994, he and American environmentalist Lester Brown were awarded the Blue Planet Prize by the Asahi Glass Foundation in Japan – at €400,000 the world's largest environmental prize. Eugen Seibold and his wife, Dr. Ilse Seibold, donated €150,000 of the prize money to the DFG.