Our Story

The Foundation was originally established as the Ciba-Geigy Science Promotion Foundation in September 1987. The name was changed to the NOVARTIS Foundation (Japan) for the Promotion of Science in 1998, and in 2012 the Foundation was placed under Cabinet Office authorization as a public interest incorporated foundation.

The Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) Group is committed not only to economic activity in the countries where it is active, but also to human welfare around the world. Consistent with this mission, in 1987 the company decided to provide JPY 1 billion to establish the Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) Foundation in Japan. The goal was to promote the development of core technologies in the 21st Century by supporting creative research in the natural sciences, and thus to contribute to academic advances and the betterment of human welfare in Japan. Ciba-Geigy merged with Sandoz in 1996, leading to the formation of Novartis Pharmaceuticals in 1997. The Foundation received its current name in 1998, and received Cabinet Office authorization as a public interest incorporated foundation in April 2012.

In the 29 years since it was established, the Foundation has supported creative research in the life sciences and related fields of chemistry, and has actively promoted participation in international conferences to promote the sharing of ideas between Japanese and overseas researchers. Even when such research does not lead directly to practical applications, it contributes to the body of new findings and theories, and that will open the door to future applications and developments, both in academic research and in industry. Up to this point a total of 1,700 projects and events have been supported, at a total outlay of JPY 2.0 billion.

Message from the Chairman

Message from the Chairman

Akimichi Kaneko, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Board of Trustees

The NOVARTIS Foundation (Japan) for the Promotion of Science was established on September 4, 1987, for the purpose of contributing to academic development and thus improving public health and welfare by promoting creative research and international exchange in the field of life science and related chemistry.

Since that time, the Foundation has granted nearly JPY 2.0 billion to approximately 1,700 research projects and international exchange activities. Although the funds provided by the Foundation may account for only a small part of the total research expenditures, it is our hope that these grants will help the research to proceed more smoothly. By defraying a portion of the cost of international conferences, the Foundation also actively supports international exchange by researchers. Many of our grantees have been published in high-impact international journals, and have sent us warm letters of gratitude and appreciation for the Foundation's support of their work. This, of course, is very encouraging to us.

We look forward to continuing to support innovative Japanese research through a rigorous and unbiased selection process. Thank you to everyone involved with this program for your ongoing assistance and encouragement.

Outline of Foundation

Supporting Body Novartis AG., Basle, Switzerland
Basic Assets JPY 1,100 million
Competent Governmental Office Cabinet Office (since April 1, 2012)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology(until March 31, 2012)
Date of Establishment September 4, 1987
April 1, 2012 (transition to a public interest foundation)


September 1987 Ciba-Geigy Science Promotion Foundation established
Establishment Point
June 1998 Name changed to NOVARTIS Foundation (Japan) for the Promotion of Science
April 2012 Received Cabinet Office authorization as a public interest incorporated foundation