October 21, 2019
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Announces Winners of Rakuten Technology & Innovation Awards 2019

Tokyo, October 21, 2019 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced the winners of the Rakuten Technology & Innovation Awards 2019. The awards will be presented at the Rakuten Technology Conference taking place on November 9, 2019.

The Rakuten Technology & Innovation Awards are awarded to individuals or organizations which have brought innovation to society through advanced technologies.

This year marks the 12th presentation of the awards. In addition to the Gold and Silver awards, two concept awards based on the theme of this year’s event, “Leaders for the Future,” the “Leadership Award” and the “Future Technology Award,” will also be presented.

Through  initiatives such as these annual awards, Rakuten aims to support individuals or organizations that strive to develop revolutionary technologies and promote innovation that contributes to the evolution of society.

Winners of the Rakuten Technology & Innovation Awards 2019

Gold Award

Winner: AnyTech

AnyTech, a startup AI tech company, developed “DeepLiquid,” which is a deep learning technology that analyzes water quality.

DeepLiquid can monitor and analyze water quality by processing video and images of the water’s surface. AnyTech founder Yoshiki Shimamoto started his research into the technology 10 years ago.

Traditionally, water quality and water waste processing is handled by staff at water processing plants who manually observe the water quality with chemical sensors, however the low level of accuracy of this method and the unreliable results have been an issue in the industry.

The core technology behind DeepLiquid, called “Liquid Texture Mining,” can carry out an analysis that would traditionally take humans three days to do in one second with 99% accuracy, enabling massive cost reductions. Liquid Texture Mining also has the potential to be applied in other fields, including in the analysis of microorganisms.

Shimamoto believes that the use of technologies such as DeepLiquid can both raise awareness of environmental issues and help preserve the global environment.

For their revolutionary technology and for raising awareness of environmental issues, AnyTech has been awarded the Gold Award.


Silver Award

Winner: Machine Learning Tokyo

Machine Learning Tokyo (MLT) is a Japan-based volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to democratizing AI. Starting with just two members as a study group, MLT has evolved into a engineering and research community of 40-50 active contributors and 3,500 members dedicated to open source, open education and open science.

MLT works with the mission to create, grow and sustain an inclusive, collaborative and engineering focused environment for students and professionals. It facilitates opportunities to study and work on Machine Learning and Deep Learning projects and supports individuals to reach their fullest potential. MLT holds regular open, inclusive and free workshops and study groups.

MLT also believes in a mission of “AI for Social Good.” They have not only been focusing on community building, but they have also developed a suspended robot in collaboration with Hackerfarm, and brought their research to a wide range of agricultural tasks to support farmers in Japan. For that, Machine Learning Tokyo has been awarded the Silver Award.


Leadership Award

Winner: Nozomi Ito, founder of TRIDENT Inc.

Nozomi Ito is a leading expert in the Japanese Quality Assurance (QA) community and a distinguished test automation engineer. He is an organizer of the Japan Selenium User Community and the creator of the AI test tool Magic Pod.

Since graduating from Kyoto University, Ito has worked in test automation and the QA industry, and in 2012, he founded TRIDENT Inc. as an independent entrepreneur. Ito has been recognized for his expertise in the field of QA and has been invited to speak at numerous overseas conferences.

Ito is not only an expert in the field of QA, but is also greatly contributing to the community. Ito established the Japan Selenium User Community and proactively facilitates events and lectures. He has also published a number of books on test automation for engineers which have been highly appraised by the industry. Ito has shown great leadership through his work in building the QA community in Japan and sharing his knowledge, and for that he has been awarded the Leadership Award.


Future Technology Award

Winner: LPIXEL Inc.

LPIXEL Inc. is recognized as a future leader in the healthcare industry, specifically in image analysis and processing technology in life science and medical research.

Founded in 2014, LPIXEL is a University of Tokyo spin-off that hones its expertise in life science image analysis. LPIXEL fuses artificial intelligence and image analysis technologies to develop and provide advanced software for researchers and professionals in the life science industry, including the medical, pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors.

One of the main research developments from LPIXEL is “EIRL,” a medical image diagnostic support technology. EIRL aims to provide an accurate, accelerated and streamlined solution for medical diagnosis by analyzing the various information required for diagnosis.

EIRL aims to be the closest partner to all doctors and serve as another powerful set of eyes to provide top quality medical care. LPIXEL has shown success in bringing AI technology to medical applications, and their work represents the future of the industry. For that, LPIXEL has been awarded the Future Technology Award.


Details of the selection criteria of each award:

Gold Award and Silver Award - Awarded to individuals or organizations which have promoted the advancement of society through technology in their industry or field.

Leadership Award - Awarded to individuals or organizations with strong vision which has led them to successes in their industry or field.

Future Technology Award - Awarded to individuals or organizations whose cutting-edge technology or research has the potential to make an impact on industry or society.

Selection Committee:

Chairman:

Mickey Mikitani, President and CEO of Rakuten, Inc.

Committee members:

 

Yasufumi Hirai, Group Executive Vice President, Rakuten, Inc.

Masaya Mori, Global Head of Rakuten Institute of Technology

Rakuten Technology Conference Team

 

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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