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

In the document titled "Objectives of the Foundation" written in 1987 on the occasion of the establishment of the Foundation, it was stated that the Foundation "will promote and support creative research in the natural sciences, which will form the axis of science in the coming 21st century, with the hope of contributing to the welfare of mankind". To this end, "the Foundation will provide financial support for the maintenance of research and provide a place for cross-border exchange".

Today, as we enter the 20th year of the 21st century, the development of science, especially the life sciences, is astonishing. New discoveries have been made one after another, and the frontiers of science are moving rapidly. At the same time, the world is suffering from a pandemic of a novel coronavirus, which could be called a classic one. We are reminded of the fact that life phenomena are not simple or straightforward.

The Foundation will support research proposals that will open a door to the new era of science from a different view point from that of public research funding. All applications are subject to a fair review by leading researchers in each field on its scientific merit. To date, the Foundation has provided approximately 1,800 grants totaling approximately 2.1 billion yen. We have been delighted to hear that the timely support of research and international conferences has sprouted and blossomed into new research projects and advanced international exchange.

We hope that the Foundation will continue to contribute to the development of creative research in Japan. We sincerely appreciate your warm understanding and support.

July 2020

Kuniaki Takata,Ph.D.
Representative Trustee
The Novartis Foundation (Japan) for the Promotion of Science

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