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  • August 2002

What is the Mechanical Engineering Design Prize?

The host at the award ceremony gave the following explanation of the award.
"Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun established the awards in 1970, with the support of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, as a way of encouraging and furthering the design of industrial products. The many superb products which have won awards to date were respected as the trailblazing products which suggested the direction for design, both visual and technological, in their times. The awards have mainly target producers' goods. Selection is based on a comprehensive evaluation which goes beyond external visual design to assess the performance, quality, safety, ergonomics, environmental consideration, social significance, economy, market potential and other aspects of the product itself".
These are extremely highly regarded prizes, which have previously been awarded to the products such as the "Nozomi" 500 Series Shinkansen ("bullet" train), supercomputers and CT scanners.
The evaluation criteria for the awards are clearly stated, as follows.

Evaluation Criteria for the Mechanical Engineering Design Awards
Basic evaluation criteria
  1. Advanced performance and functions, embodying innovative technology.
  2. Social significance realized by the product's creativity.
Four evaluation criteria
  1. Planning ability, and the validity and social impact of the concept.
  2. Cutting edge functions and performance, with innovative technology.
  3. Consideration for ergonomic factors in ease of operation, safety, maintenance and other aspects.
  4. Creative form design that integrates important elements and achieves harmony with the environment. (Union of function and aesthetics)

Explanation of the decision-making process
The host and the representative of the expert judging committee gave the following explanation of the process.
"This year there were 37 entries from 34 companies. After careful consideration the evaluation committee, comprising 15 leading people from various industries, awarded two Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry prizes, one Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman's prize, five group prizes, and three Judging Committee Special prizes".

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