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Inamori Foundation Announces 2022 Kyoto Prize Laureates

More than $2 million in awards honor Caltech electronics pioneer Carver Mead, Princeton population biologist Bryan Grenfell, global tabla musician Zakir Hussain

KYOTO, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Inamori Foundation today announced the 2022 laureates of its Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievement, in the categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Complete details are online at: https://www.kyotoprize.org/en

Each laureate receives a diploma, a 20-karat gold medal, and a monetary award of 100 million yen (about US$750,000). To avoid COVID-19 risk, the new laureates will give commemorative lectures online this year instead of convening in person for the Kyoto Prize ceremonies traditionally conducted in Japan each November 10. They will convene online or in person for the 22nd annual Kyoto Prize Symposium in San Diego, Calif., in March 2023, and for the Kyoto Prize at Oxford events in Oxford, UK, in May 2023.

The 2022 Kyoto Prize Laureates

In Advanced Technology, the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureate is electronics engineer and applied physicist Carver Mead, Ph.D., the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, at California Institute of Technology. Mead’s pioneering contributions to the field of electronics include proposing and promoting a new methodology to divide the design process of very large-scale integration (VLSI) systems into logic, circuit, and layout designs, and separating them from the manufacturing process. He also contributed greatly to the advancement of computer-aided design technology, paving the way to VLSI design automation and facilitating the revolutionary development of today’s VLSI-based electronics and industry.

In Basic Sciences, the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureate is population biologist Bryan T. Grenfell, D.Phil., the Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Grenfell proposed phylodynamics as a methodology to predict the infectious disease dynamics of RNA viruses by considering viral evolution, thus contributing to the development of research fields that integrate immune dynamics, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology. These achievements have been instrumental in understanding infection mechanisms and proposing effective infectious disease control policies.

In Arts and Philosophy, the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureate is Grammy award-winning tabla musician Zakir Hussain, who has opened new possibilities beyond the framework of traditional Indian music in collaboration with artists of other diverse genres worldwide. Hussain’s performance innovations include a unique method of creating melodies on the tabla, originally regarded as a rhythmic instrument of accompaniment. In the process, he has expanded the tabla’s possibilities and established it as one of the most expressive percussion instruments in the world. With his superb technique, engaging performances, and rich creativity, he has made tremendous impact on world music audiences and performers alike.

About the Inamori Foundation and the Kyoto Prize

The Kyoto Prize is an international award bestowed by the non-profit Inamori Foundation to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. The Foundation was established in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corporation; founder and honorary adviser to KDDI Corporation; and chairman emeritus and honorary adviser to Japan Airlines. Inamori created the Kyoto Prize in line with his belief that a human being has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humanity and the world, and that the future of humanity can be assured only though a balance of scientific progress and spiritual depth.

Counting the 2022 recipients, the prize has honored 118 laureates worldwide — 117 individuals and one group (the Nobel Foundation). Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film directors. For more information, see: https://www.kyotoprize.org/en.


(U.S.) University of California, San Diego

Matt Nagel

[email protected]

(U.S.) Kyoto Symposium Organization

Jay Scovie


[email protected]

(JAPAN) The Inamori Foundation

Takeshi Nakajima and Megumi Smith


[email protected]

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