Nobel-winning scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi has used his prize money to establish a foundation to promote basic biological research with long-term goals.

Ohsumi invested 100 million yen ($900,000) from his Nobel Prize and Breakthrough Prize winnings to set up the Ohsumi Frontier Science Foundation.

He announced Sept. 12 that the foundation plans to start supporting researchers from next spring by soliciting donations and investment from individuals and corporations.

“Through donations for research, I want to create a society where people embrace the importance of science,” said Ohsumi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2016.

Ohsumi, 72, an honorary professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, won the Nobel for his work in measuring autophagy, a natural mechanism that destroys and recycles components in cells.

Ohsumi said he decided to create the foundation out of a sense of crisis over the current research environment for Japanese scientists.

He said fundamental research that focuses on the long term tends to be neglected as scientists opt to do research that yields short-term success.

Ohsumi said he hopes to improve the research environment for scientists who are working on basic biological research themes that are important but have not obtained sufficient support.

The foundation has set corporate membership fees at 1 million yen, while donations of 1,000 yen or more are also accepted from individuals.

For more information, visit the official website of the Ohsumi Frontier Science Foundation (Japanese only):