January 28, 2021
Kurita Sponsors and Presents the "Kurita Water Industries Award" at the 18th Japan Science & Engineering Challenge (JSEC 2020)
Kurita Water Industries ("Kurita"; Head Office: Nakano-ku, Tokyo; President: Michiya Kadota) today announced that it had sponsored the 18th Japan Science & Engineering Challenge ("JSEC2020"), a free-study research contest in science and engineering hosted by The Asahi Shimbun Company and TV Asahi Corporation; and had presented the "Kurita Water Industries Award" for excellent research into water and the environment.
The Japan Science & Engineering Challenge ("JSEC") is a free-study research contest in science and engineering for high school and college students, held annually since 2003 with the aim of improving the level of science and engineering by contributing to the promotion of education in the fields of science and engineering. The contest calls for entries consisting of research work from a wide range of fields, with awards being given for the best entries based on document and presentation-based screenings by expert judges. Kurita supports and endorses the purport of JSEC activities, and has sponsored the contest since 2019 as one aspect of human resources development as part of its corporate citizenship activities.
For JSEC2020, the 18th installment of the competition, a total of 217 entries were received from high schools and technical colleges throughout Japan. After preliminary and primary screening processes, the final screening was held online over the course of two days (Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2020). The entrants selected as the winners of the Kurita Water Industries Award for 2020 were Ms. Yuri Muto, Ms. Nanami Kanzaki, and Mr. Kazuki Toida of Aichi Prefectural Ichinomiya High School (Aichi Prefecture), for their research project "Improving the Efficiency of Acid Hydrolysis of Cellulose by Ionic Liquids: Towards Improving the Efficiency of Bioethanol Production." The winners of this award and other top-ranking winners from JSEC2020 are scheduled to represent Japan at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to be held online in May 2021. In addition, as a new attempt this year, a virtual 3D JSEC venue was created online. Under the title of "Kurita Sustainable Water Tour," Kurita used this platform to display educational content introducing global problems relating to water resources and the role of water treatment technologies in resolving them.
Moving forward, as a secondary prize to the main award, Kurita plans to hold an online exchange meeting between the award winners and Kurita Group researchers including researchers from overseas. By providing opportunities to hear directly from researchers about R&D activities at companies, Kurita hopes to lend a helping hand in future research activities and career planning for award winners.
Looking ahead, as one aspect of its corporate citizenship activities, the Kurita Group will continue to contribute to achieving the creation of a sustainable society by supporting the education of young people who will play key roles in the future.
Kurita Water Industries Award
|Winners||:||Ms. Yuri Muto, Ms. Nanami Kanzaki, and Mr. Kazuki Toida of Aichi Prefectural Ichinomiya High School (Aichi Prefecture)|
|Title||:||Improving the Efficiency of Acid Hydrolysis of Cellulose by Ionic Liquids: Towards Improving the Efficiency of Bioethanol Production|
|Outline||:||In their project, the award winners focused their attention on the generation of glucose from cellulose as a raw material for the production of bioethanol, which is being used as an alternative fuel in place of fossil fuels. Cellulose exists in large quantities in the natural world, and its use does not compete with food production. The award winners investigated the efficient breakdown of cellulose to glucose using ionic liquids.|
Kurita Water Industries Award winners Mr. Kazuki Toida, Ms. Nanami Kanzaki, and Ms. Yuri Muto (from left)
of Aichi Prefectural Ichinomiya High School (Aichi Prefecture)
Link to the JSEC2020 virtual 3D venue (viewable until May 2021)
Please use a browser that supports WebGL2.0 (Chrome, FireFox, Edge) to view this site.