Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Monday, December 04 2023 - 17:00
Dr. Masato Sagawa of Japan and Dr. John J. Croat of U.S. Honored at 44th Honda Prize Award Ceremony
TOKYO, Dec. 4, 2023 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/ --

- For Invention: Neodymium Magnet, World's Strongest Permanent Magnet, Enabling 
Significant IT Advancements for Society -

The Honda Foundation in Tokyo held the 44th Honda Prize Award Ceremony on 
November 16, 2023, where it awarded this year's prize to Dr. Masato Sagawa of 
Japan (advisor to Daido Steel and president of NDFEB Corporation) and Dr. John 
J. Croat of the United States (former president of John Croat Consulting, Inc.).

Dr. Masato Sagawa and Dr. John J. Croat:

Awardees deliver commemorative lectures:

Honda Foundation President Hiroto Ishida commented, "Utilized in a wide range 
of fields that include electronics, industrial machinery, and automobiles, 
permanent magnets are essential in modern society as a basic material. Dr. 
Sagawa and Dr. Croat's independent magnet research has facilitated IT 
advancements for society by enabling significantly lighter motors, smaller hard 
drives, and more. Neodymium magnets, which make up 95% of the permanent magnet 
market, are advancing energy-saving technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. As 
demand for neodymium magnets rises in the effort to achieve a carbon-neutral 
society, we are pleased to award the Honda Prize to these two distinguished 

Honda Prize Selection Committee Chairman Hirohisa Uchida said, "Dr. Sagawa and 
Dr. Croat's invention of the Nd-Fe-B permanent magnet, an unprecedented 
super-strong magnet, has impacted various industries. Neodymium magnets, with 
their powerful magnetic force, have driven significant IT advancements, 
contributing to energy conservations, reduction of fossil fuel reliance, and 
the journey toward a carbon-neutral society. Global demand is rising as 
electrification and motor efficiency improvements fuel development of 
energy-saving technologies to curb CO2 emissions. This reflects the global 
commitment to policies aligned with the SDGs. As Soichiro Honda said, the basic 
principle of eco-technology aims to 'make people happy through technology.' In 
view of the invention's alignment with the Honda Foundation's policy of 
prioritizing eco-technology and recognizing achievements worthy of the Honda 
Prize, we are pleased to present them with this award."

Upon the presentation of the awards and medals to both doctors, Dr. Croat 
stated, "It is a great honor to receive the Honda Prize, and I am grateful to 
be able to receive this award together with Dr. Sagawa, whom I deeply respect. 
Reflecting on our journey, both of us independently discovered the same 
substance in the early 1980s. Today, neodymium magnets are essential in a 
variety of fields, and I am elated that we were able to make this remarkable 

Both doctors shared insights into their academic journeys, professional 
experiences, and their discovery of neodymium magnets.
"I lacked confidence as a student," Dr. Sagawa said. "However, my time for 
working for companies allowed me to apply the research knowledge gained in the 
graduate school, immersing myself in magnet research. Now I encourage young 
people to pursue a career in science."

Meanwhile, Dr. Croat said, "The discovery of neodymium magnets has enabled 
major technological innovations, including the miniaturization of household 
appliances and the development of computers. It continues to be used in various 
high-tech applications even today. I am thrilled and honored to have played a 
role in its discovery and development."

Dr. Sagawa's research and biography:

Dr. Croat's research and biography:

History of permanent magnet research/ Present and future of neodymium magnets:

About Honda Foundation:

Honda Foundation's official website:

Source: Honda Foundation


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