New Industry Products

Asahi Kasei Honorary Fellow Akira Yoshino receives the European Inventor Award 2019

July 20, 2019 by Renesas

This article highlights Asahi Kasei Honorary Fellow Dr. Akira Yoshino that received the European Inventor Award 2019 from the European Patent Office (EPO).

Asahi Kasei Honorary Fellow Dr. Akira Yoshino has received the European Inventor Award 2019 from the European Patent Office (EPO) in the category of Non-EPO countries for his invention and refinement of the lithium-ion battery. The award ceremony was held on June 20, 2019, in Vienna, Austria.

Launched by the EPO in 2006, the European Inventor Award annually honors individual inventors and teams of inventors for their contribution towards technical progress, social development, and economic prosperity. It is awarded in the five categories of Industry, Research, Non-EPO countries, Small and medium-sized enterprises, and Lifetime achievement, along with the Popular Prize which is chosen from among the finalists by online voting on the EPO website.

Dr. Yoshino is the third Japanese winner of the European Inventor Award, following Dr. Sumio Iijima et al. in 2015 for the discovery and development of carbon nanotubes (Non-EPO countries), and a team led by Masahiro Hara in 2014 for the development of the QR code (Popular Prize). Please refer to the European Inventor Award website for more information: European Inventor Award

Dr. Yoshino commented “I am greatly honored to receive this year’s European Inventor Award. It was gratifying that the EPO President said my invention significantly impacted society. I hope that my accomplishment will help make the name of Asahi Kasei well known throughout Europe. The series of events associated with this award reminded me of how concerned European people are about environmental issues. I am humbled that my invention is contributing to solutions.”

Developed by Dr. Yoshino in 1983, the lithium-ion battery has been widely adopted in various electronic devices as a safe lightweight rechargeable battery, enhancing portability as the digital age began in the 1990s, ushering in the IT revolution and our current society of mobile connectivity. Furthermore, the lithium-ion battery is playing a growing role in measures to counter global warming, by powering electric vehicles and by enabling the effective storage and use of electricity from unstable sources of renewable energy. As such, the lithium-ion battery will thus continue to be increasingly important for the sustainability of our society.

The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to “life and living for people around the world” by providing new value to society, enabling “living in health and comfort” and “harmony with the natural environment.”


About Asahi Kasei Corp.

Asahi Kasei Corporation is a global Japanese chemical company. Its main products are chemicals and materials science. It was founded in May 1931, using the paid in capital of Nobeoka Ammonia Fiber Co., Ltd, a Nobeoka, Miyazaki based producer of ammonia, nitric acid, and other chemicals.