Ambitious Tenure-Track Associate Prof. Masaaki Kitajima wins a Japan Open Innovation Prize

Mar 03, 2023
  • Award

The Japan Open Innovation Prize (JOIP) was instituted in 2019 to further promote open innovation in Japan. Co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, the JOIP is awarded every year to initiatives with a high degree of leadership and originality that are expected to serve as role models for the future. Associate Professor Masaaki Kitajima at the Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Hiroyuki Kobayashi at Shionogi & Co. Ltd., and Ryo Iwamoto at AdvanSentinel Inc. have been selected for a JOIP in 2023.

The award ceremony took place at the Central Government Building 8 on February 15, 2023, and was broadcast online. Kitajima, Kobayashi and Iwamoto were recognized for their contribution to the practical application of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) for tracking COVID-19. The deployment and effectiveness of a wastewater-based epidemiology system to track COVID-19 spread in the Olympic and Paralympic Village during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and its potential for application to other diseases, were key factors in the decision to award them the Prize.

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