Masao Horiba is the founder of HORIBA, Ltd., a global leader in advanced analytical and measurement technology.
A pioneer of Japanese high-tech start-ups, Horiba founded Horiba Radio Laboratory in 1945, while studying at Kyoto Imperial University. In the years that followed, he developed an extremely successful pH meter for the Japanese market. This led to the establishment of HORIBA, Ltd., in 1953.
Building on this success, in 1954 he began the development of infrared gas analyzers. Applying this technology to the analysis of automobile exhaust gases, the scale and scope of the company rapidly expanded.
Although Horiba had majored in physics at the university, he used his experience in the research and development of products for his own company as a platform to undertake the study of medicine, and in 1961 he earned a doctoral degree in medicine.
Adopting the corporate philosophy of “Joy and Fun,” the entire company worked as a team to create a model venture business. Through the years, as one of the top manufacturers of analytical instruments, HORIBA, Ltd., has continued to lead the industry with innovative advances in technology.
Horiba served as chairman of the company from 1978 to 2005, guiding its continuing expansion into new areas of instrumentation and technology. While chairman, he received several awards from the Japanese government and a national Blue Ribbon Medal. In 2005, he retired from the board of directors and assumed the position of Supreme Counsel.
Masao Horiba continues to play a highly active role in Kyoto’s start-up business community. As a special advisor to the Advanced Software Technology and Mechatronics Research Institute of Kyoto (ASTEM), one of the largest start-up incubator organizations in Japan, he has worked particularly hard to help entrepreneurs build strong, new companies. Since the establishment of the Japan Association of New Business Incubation Organizations (JANBO) in 1999, he has served as a representative of this nationwide network for the support of new businesses in Japan. Horiba received the Pittcon Heritage Award in 2006.