The National Commendation for Invention honors the achievements of Japan's leading researchers and scientists. The award program consists of two divisions. Division 1 awards recognize inventions that have already made significant contributions. Division 2 awards recognize inventions expected to make significant future contributions.
Sony researchers Minoru Ishida, Katsuhisa Aratani, Akira Kouchiyama and Tomohito Tsushima recently won the 21st Century Invention Prize (the highest Division 2 award) for their development of core technology for a memory storage device based on resistance switching in transition metal oxides. The following interview with Ishida and Aratani traces the development of this technology.