Eugen and Ilse Seibold-Prize
The Eugen and Ilse Seibold-Prize was awarded to Japanese and German researchers in recognition of their exceptional contribution towards advancing understanding between the two countries. The prize is valued at €10,000 and was awarded once every two years to one German and one Japanese researcher. In exceptional cases, the award could also go to a research team. Prizes were awarded for particular achievements in all fields of research, although the award rotated regularly between the humanities and social sciences, on the one hand, and the natural sciences, including the life sciences and medicine, on the other.
The prize was financed through a fund donated by Eugen and Ilse Seibold. The marine geologist, Professor Eugen Seibold, and U.S. environmentalist, Lester Brown, were jointly awarded the "Blue Planet Prize" in 1994 by the Japanese Asahi Glass Foundation - at €400,000 the world's largest environmental prize. Eugen Seibold, who was president of the DFG from 1980 to 1985, and his wife, Dr. Ilse Seibold, donated €150,000 of the prize money to the DFG for the establishment of a fund. The proceeds from the "Eugen and Ilse Seibold Fund" used to promote research and understanding between Germany and Japan. The Seibold-Prize was awarded for the final time in 2020, since the “Eugen and Ilse Seibold Fund” is exhausted following the last round of awards.
- Interner Link mit Anker2020: Prof. Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue, Prof. Dr. Regine Mathias, Prof. Dr. Hidenori Takagi and Prof. Dr. Kanako Takayama
- Interner Link mit Anker2019: Prof. Dr. Kōichirō Agata and Prof. Dr. Harald Baum
- Interner Link mit Anker2017: Prof. Dr. Takeshi Tsubata and Prof. Dr. Thomas Bock
- Interner Link mit Anker2015: Prof. Dr. Miyoko Motozawa and Prof. Dr. Gesine Foljanty-Jost
- Interner Link mit Anker2011: Dr. Gerhard Erker and Dr. Kazuyuki Tatsumi
- Interner Link mit Anker2009: Prof. Makoto Ida and Prof. Wolfgang Schamoni (in German only)
- Interner Link mit Anker2007: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hideo Nakamura and Prof. Dr. Klaus Ploog (in German only)
- Interner Link mit Anker2005: Prof. Josef Kreiner and Prof. Tatsuji Iwabuchi (in German only)
- Interner Link mit Anker2003: Prof. Wolfgang Knoll and Prof. Shigemasa Suga (in German only)
- Interner Link mit Anker2001: Prof. Dr. Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit and Prof. Ken'ichi Mishima (in German only)
2020: Prof. Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue, Prof. Dr. Regine Mathias, Prof. Dr. Hidenori Takagi and Prof. Dr. Kanako Takayama
This year the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is to honour four researchers – two women and two men – with the Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize. 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.
Chemist Shigeyoshi Inoue has shown tremendous dedication in promoting exchange and cooperation between Germany and Japan. Born in 1980 in Aichi, he has been awarded fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and has been working in Germany since 2008. In 2015 he was appointed professor of silicon chemistry at TUM. In 2014 he received an ERC Starting Grant for his work on the synthesis and catalytic applications of NHC-stabilised silylium ylidene ions. Inoue was involved in the Junior Expert Program (JEX) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which enables young managers in research and industry in Germany and Japan to become acquainted with research institutions in the other country.
Regine Mathias, a retired professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, was actively involved in promoting exchange and cooperation between Germany and Japan during her long research career. She enhanced the understanding of both countries through her work on the history of everyday life in modern Japan, always avoiding an exoticisation of the country, and placing its historical development within a global historical context. She was also involved in supporting early career researchers and served on various bodies, including the board of trustees of the JaDe Foundation, which promotes German-Japanese academic and cultural relations, and the board of trustees of the Max Weber Foundation. Mathias was a DFG review board member from 2008 to 2015. She is currently coordinating the development of a Japanese library at the Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace in France.
Hidenori Takagi is well known both in Germany and in Japan for his many contributions to materials physics. He has published pioneering research on metal-insulator transitions, high-temperature superconductivity and quantum magnetism. After researching at Tokyo's RIKEN institute in Tokyo and working as a professor at the University of Tokyo, in 2013 he was appointed director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, at the same time becoming the first Japanese scholar to be awarded a Humboldt professorship. Takagi has won several awards, including the IBM Science Prize, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He promotes German-Japanese cooperation by collaborating closely at the MPI with research teams at the University of Tokyo, where he still holds a professorship. This partnership has given rise to joint research projects, staff exchanges and annual workshops.
Jurist Kanako Takayama was appointed professor of law at the University of Kyoto in 2005, becoming one of the youngest female law professors in Japan. Her research deals with questions such as the importance of sympathy in lay participation in penal procedures, crime among the elderly in Japan and criminal penalties for tattoos. In 1998 Takayama received a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and carried out a two-year research visit to the University of Cologne. Since then she has organised German-Japanese conferences for early career researchers in law and has been actively involved in the Humboldt Alumni Association Japan. She is also active in many international, German and Japanese associations and is a member of the Science Council of Japan. She has received an array of awards for her contributions, including the Philipp Franz von Siebold Prize in 2018 and the Federal Cross of Merit in 2006.
2019: Prof. Dr. Kōichirō Agata and Prof. Dr. Harald Baum
Political and administrative scientist Prof. Dr. Kōichirō Agata and legal scholar Prof. Dr. Harald Baum have been selected to receive the Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). They are being recognised for their many years of successful dedication to academic and cultural exchange between Germany and Japan. The winners were chosen by the prize jury at its meeting in May 2019.
“Kōichirō Agata and Harald Baum aren’t just renowned as outstanding researchers in their respective countries and subject areas. They are also highly regarded in each other's country and have made a significant contribution to German-Japanese understanding through their considerable personal dedication, especially in the area of student exchanges,” said DFG Vice President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker, who chaired the jury. The prize, worth €10,000, was presented on 9 September 2019 in Bonn.
Kōichirō Agata is being recognised for his decades-long support in promoting exchange and cooperation between Germany and Japan. As a member of the selection committee for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Tokyo-based administrative scientist has been involved for many years in the awarding of fellowships to Japanese students.
In 2008 he was appointed as the first liaison scholar for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) in Japan. He has also served for many years as a member of the Foundation Council of the Japanese-German Center Berlin.
Agata’s research focuses on the comparison of municipal administration in Japan and Germany. He studied political science at Waseda University in Tokyo. Between 1984 and 1988 he was a DAAD fellow at the University of Cologne and the University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, where he earned his doctorate in administrative sciences in 1992. He was subsequently appointed a professor at Waseda University, where he has held the Chair of Administrative Sciences since 1997. In 2008 he became Dean of the Okuma School of Public Management at Waseda University. He has regularly shared his expertise in the non-academic world, for example as an adviser to Japan’s ministry of education (MEXT) and the country’s interior and foreign ministries. For his services to German-Japanese relations, he was presented with the Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2006.
Harald Baum has also made an outstanding contribution over many years to exchange and cooperation between Germany and Japan. Through his academic work he has enhanced understanding in both countries by enabling German scholars to understand Japanese law while making German law accessible in Japan. He has achieved this not only in his role as Vice-President of the German-Japanese Association of Jurists (DJJV), but also as founder and editor of the Journal of Japanese Law, which has been published regularly for over 20 years, presenting information on this topic in German and English. In recognition of this he was awarded the prize of the Foundation for the Promotion of Japanese-German Scientific and Cultural Relations (JaDe) in 2010.
Baum’s research interests are international private and procedural law, with a focus on Japanese law. He studied law in Hamburg and Freiburg and earned his doctorate at the University of Hamburg in 1984. He then became a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, where he is still based today. He has also spent periods of time researching abroad, particularly in Japan. In 2004 he completed his habilitation in the Faculty of Law at the University of Hamburg, where he was appointed professor in 2010. In addition to his teaching and research work in Germany and Japan, he has organised numerous conferences on law, with an emphasis on the training of early career scholars.
2017: Prof. Dr. Takeshi Tsubata and Prof. Dr.-Ing Thomas Bock
Immunologist Prof. Dr. Takeshi Tsubata and architect Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bock have been selected to receive the Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). They are to be honoured for their many years of successful and dedicated commitment to academic and cultural exchange between Germany and Japan. “Takeshi Tsubata and Thomas Bock aren’t just renowned as outstanding researchers in their respective countries and subject areas. They are also highly regarded in the other country and have made a significant contribution to German-Japanese understanding – be it at specialist level, in the training of early career researchers, in committee work or in policy advice,” says DFG Vice President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker, who chaired the jury. The prize, worth €10,000, will be presented on 10 October 2017 in Bonn.
Takeshi Tsubata is being recognised for his decades-long support in promoting exchange and cooperation between Japan and Germany. As a member of the selection committee for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Tokyo-based immunologist has been involved for many years in the awarding of fellowships to Japanese students. He maintains close links with the offices of the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) in Japan. Tsubata is also a member of numerous scientific associations and editorial advisory boards in Japan, as well as an associate member of the Science Council of Japan – a role in which he acts as an important advocate for German research.
Tsubata has made a vital contribution to a better understanding of the immune system by discovering new aspects of the basic principles of the humoral immune response. He studied medicine at Kyoto University and received his doctorate in 1988. He then spent two years as an AvH research fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg. After returning to Japan, where he accepted a post as professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1996, scientific exchange with Germany remained very important to him. He set up a student exchange programme at his university and made regular research visits to Germany, establishing collaborations with German immunologists at various institutions. For his services to German-Japanese relations, he was presented with the Philipp Franz von Siebold Award, established by the Federal President of Germany in 2005.
Thomas Bock has also been dedicated to exchange and cooperation between Germany and Japan for many years. For example, Bock was significantly involved in the creation of exchange programmes between various Japanese universities and the Technical University of Munich, where he has been researching since 1997. He also contributed to EU-wide exchanges with Japan in the fields of informatics, electrical and electronic engineering, machine construction/robotics and architecture in his role as programme director for the European Union’s Architecture and Urbanism Student Mobility International Program (AUSMIP), which he initiated in 2002.
Bock’s research is in the area of construction robotics, of which he is considered to be one of the co-founders. His interests lie primarily in the sociotechnically integrated use of new technologies in everyday life. Bock developed the term “robot-oriented design”, which refers to a complete technological and planning concept. His first contact with Japan came early in his academic career: in 1984 he began working at the University of Tokyo, funded by a fellowship from the Japanese education and science ministry, where he completed his doctorate in 1989. He was then appointed professor of construction automation in the Faculty of Construction Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), before moving to the Technical University of Munich. In 2007 Bock became a fellow at the University of Tokyo. He is also a member of the Robotics Society of Japan. In 2011 he received an award from the Japanese foreign minister for his services to German-Japanese relations.
2015: Prof. Dr. Miyoko Motozawa and Prof. Dr. Gesine Foljanti-Jost
Professor Miyoko Motozawa, a specialist in family and social law, and Japanologist Professor Gesine Foljanty-Jost have been chosen as the winners of the 2015 Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). They receive the award for their many years of successful and dedicated scientific work, which has made a significant contribution to academic exchange and mutual understanding between Germany and Japan. "We are delighted to honour two outstanding individuals who strengthen bilateral relations through enormous personal commitment and extensive network-building – at the level of scholarship, the training of early career researchers, committee work and policy advice," says DFG Vice-President Professor Katja Becker, chairperson of the jury. The prize, worth €10 000, will be presented on 7 October 2015 in Bonn.
An example for how science builds bridges and lastingly enriches the relationship between Germany and Japan is the work of jurist Miyoko Motozawa from the University of Tsukuba. Since the mid-1970s she has been investigating various aspects of German family and social law, such as divorce law, pension rights adjustment in pension insurance and questions relating to parental leave and child-raising allowance. Motozawa spent two years at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law in Munich, where she carried out qualitative interviews with many different people in the German nursing care insurance industry. Based on this data, in 1996 she published a highly regarded monograph, which was analysed with great interest by Japanese policymakers and used as the basis for an amendment of Japanese nursing care insurance.
As an interdisciplinary jurist with a well developed professional network, Miyoko Motozawa has organised a large number of seminars and congresses both in Japan and Germany, bringing together representatives of economics, social sciences and medicine to discuss issues such as social law and nursing care insurance from a holistic perspective. She is currently establishing an international, interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to the worldwide issue of "Global Ageing".
Also Gesine Foljanty-Jost has been dedicated to dialogue and cooperation between Germany and Japan for decades, making a significant contribution to social sciences research in Japanese studies in Germany. For many years she has been member of the board of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF), founded in 1988. She has also served as a member or in advisory or executive roles in bilateral institutions such as the German-Japanese Forum, the Japanisch-Deutsches Zentrum Berlin and the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo.
Gesine Foljanty-Jost, who received a doctorate in political sciences, was appointed professor at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in 1992. There she established a chair of Japanology, which she has continually developed to become a hub of Japanese studies in Germany. She has initiated important university partnerships between Germany and Japan with the universities of Senshu, Tokyo, Waseda, Dokkyo and Tsukuba. She also established the DFG-funded International Research Training Group "Transformation in Civil Society. A Comparison Between Japan and Germany" in cooperation with the University of Tokyo. Japanese environmental policy has been a focal point of her work – her articles on the subject in the 1990s stimulated debates in German environmental policy. In 2013, in recognition of her contribution to academic relations between Japan and Germany, the Japanese government presented Foljanty-Jost with the Order of the Rising Sun.
2011: Dr. Kazuyuki Tatsumi and Dr. Gerhard Erker
Two outstanding chemists have been selected to receive the Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize 2011. Professor Gerhard Erker, from the University of Münster, and Professor Kazuyuki Tatsumi, who works at Nagoya University, have been recognised for their contributions as promoters of understanding between Japan and Germany and as long-term advocates for science. The research duo founded the first Japanese-German Research Training Group, “Complex Functional Systems in Chemistry: Design, Development and Applications”, which has been funded jointly by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) since 2006. The Erker/Tatsumi team is the first research team to be awarded the prize, which is sponsored by former DFG President Eugen Seibold and his wife in the amount of 10,000 euros.
The prize is a symbol for the long-term, close cooperation between German science and Japan, said DFG President Professor Matthias Kleiner, also calling to mind the catastrophe in Japan and its unforeseeable consequences. “Both the DFG and I are deeply shocked by this incomprehensible natural and environmental disaster. Like our colleagues, friends, and everyone in Japan, we are both fearful and hopeful. We are ready to help in any way we can, wherever it is needed.”
The closeness of the bond between Germany and Japan is also demonstrated by the prizewinning pair and their work. The parallels between the two multiple-award-winning, internationally recognised chemists began very early. Both studied chemistry in their native countries: Gerhard Erker in Cologne and Bochum, Kazuyuki Tatsumi in Osaka. Both completed a postdoctoral phase in the USA before establishing themselves as outstanding researchers in organometallic chemistry. During this period, they worked on several related topics which have, particularly in recent times, proved mutually beneficial.
The high level of specialist scientific renown enjoyed by the two researchers is also evidenced by the scientific offices they hold. Erker, who heads the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Westphalian Wilhelm University of Münster, served as President of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and a member of both the DFG Senate and the Joint Commission of the Excellence Initiative. Tatsumi, who has held a chair of chemistry at Nagoya University since 1994, was a member of the Subcommittee of Japan's Council for Science and Technology and is currently a member of the Science Council of Japan and Vice President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). He will assume the presidency of this organisation for a two-year term beginning in 2012.
The jointly founded International Research Training Group has its roots in a declaration of intent issued by the DFG and the JSPS in 2005, and the concept of cooperating within a framework of networked projects was translated into action by Erker and Tatsumi. In doing so, they also supported the establishment of the Japanese-German Graduate Externship by the JSPS, which is equivalent to the DFG‘s Research Training Group. Their work thus sent a clear signal in favour of Japanese-German cooperation, based - as it was - primarily on the rapidly developing understanding and growing trust between the two researchers. The success of their scientific collaboration is also evidenced by the DFG’s decision to continue its support for another funding period.