Tosoh Receives 53rd Ichimura Prize in Industry for Distinguished Achievement

Tokyo, Japan— Tosoh has received the 53rd Ichimura Prize in Industry for Distinguished Achievement. The prize is sponsored by the Ichimura Foundation for New Technology and was awarded to Tosoh for achievements under the theme, “Commercialization and New Development of Microstructure-Controlled Zirconia (MCZ) Using Innovative Technologies.” Tosoh’s development of zirconia technologies to date and potential to further develop and commercialize those technologies contributed to its earning the prize.

Recipients of the prize included Koji Matsui, deputy director and senior researcher with Tosoh’s Inorganic Materials Research Laboratory; Nobukatsu Ohmichi, Tosoh vice president and the senior general manager of its Advanced Materials Division; and Masaharu Ohgai, former deputy director of Tosoh.

High-strength zirconia was developed in the 1980s and applied in the expectation that it would play a leading role in ceramics. At that time, however, zirconia powder manufacturing technology was such that consistent quality and mass production were difficult to achieve.

To resolve such issues, Tosoh introduced microstructure-controlled zirconia (MCZ) as an alternative to high-strength zirconia. The company devised a high-productivity manufacturing process for MCZ powder that also featured superior consistency in quality.

Tosoh’s development of next-generation MCZ encompassed high-durability MCZ and ultrahigh-durability MCZ. The enhanced features of these products boasted wide-ranging applications and were made possible by a grain boundary nanostructure and nano-chemical control technologies. The significantly improved hardness of both products also meant that Tosoh had maintained the high strength of zirconia.

Innovative technologies developed by Tosoh through many years of research and development (R&D) have greatly expanded zirconia’s potential. They have in particular accelerated the development of zirconia to meet an ever-broader range of applications. Great progress has been made in establishing markets for zirconia in, for example, optical connection components, grinding and dispersion media, and aesthetic dental materials.

Next-generation MCZ from Tosoh will contribute greatly to the dental market and other industries in Japan and elsewhere. Expectations are high for its application in fields where reliability is essential. Inspired by the prospects for its products and by its recent recognition as a recipient of the Ichimura Prize in Industry, Tosoh will further its R&D efforts in pursuit of increasingly innovative technologies.

The Ichimura Prize in Industry commemorates the conferring of a medal by the Japanese government on Kiyoshi Ichimura, the founder of Ricoh Corporation, on April 29, 1963. That honor recognizes people who have made significant contributions of benefit to the Japanese public. The Ichimura Prize in Industry honors engineers who contribute enormously to the advancement of science and technology and to the development and progress of industry and industrial fields in Japan.


Who We Are

Tosoh Corporation is the parent of the Tosoh Group, which comprises over 100 companies worldwide and a multiethnic workforce of over 12,000 people and generated net sales of ¥786.1 billion (US$7.2 billion at the average rate of ¥108.7 to the US dollar) in fiscal 2020, ended March 31, 2020.

What We Do

Tosoh is one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia. The company supplies the plastic resins and an array of the basic chemicals that support modern life. Tosoh’s petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polyethylene, and functional polymers, while its advanced materials business serves the global semiconductor, display, and solar industries. Tosoh has also pioneered sophisticated bioscience systems that are used for the monitoring of life-threatening diseases. In addition, Tosoh demonstrates its commitment to a sustainable future in part by manufacturing a variety of eco-products.

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For more information, please contact


Gina Lau
International Public Relations
Tosoh Corporation 

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Tel: +81 3 5427 5118
Fax: +81 3 5427 5198