We are pleased to announce that CHARMANT Inc. and Osaka University Professor Emeritus Seiji Katayama have received the 41st Inoue Harushige Award.
The award is for research conducted by CHARMANT and Professor Katayama to develop laser technology that makes laser micro welding of eyewear frames possible. The subsequent commercialisation of this technology extended to medical devices and the major contributions it has made to the local economy impressed the selection committee for its creativity and originality.
Developed over five years starting in 2004 through joint research with the Joining and Welding Research Institute at Osaka University, laser micro welding technology makes it possible to join several materials to create finely designed eyewear. In 2009 the technology was initially applied to CHARMANT’s signature brands, including Line Art CHARMANT and CHARMANT Z, which has subsequently been introduced to the market. Since 2012, the technology has also been used in the production of surgical equipment.
Chairman of the Board Kaoru Horikawa is pleased that the company has received the award, noting “this is on account of our development of new designs and comfortable eyewear as well as the support of our customers from throughout the world.” As for the future outlook, Executive Director of the Board Kazuo Iwahori added, “We can now join special materials that were said to be impossible to weld together and will continue our research and development activities.”
What is the Inoue Harushige Award?
Established in 1976, the Inoue Harushige Award is named after Mr.Harushige Inoue, who served as the first head of the former Agency of Industrial Science and Technology within the former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (present-day National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology). Each year, the selection committee, which is composed of academics and scientific research institute related parties, selects, as a general rule, two recipients from throughout Japan. The award is given to exceptional contributions to the advancement of science and technology, economic development, and improvements to welfare in Japan. According to the secretariat, the award is the only one given for technology based on research conducted by universities that companies subsequently commercialise. Among the past laureates , Dr.Isamu Akasaki is also in the list, who won the Novel Prize in Physics 2014 for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs). CHARMANT Inc. is the first winner from Fukui Prefecture.