Awards for Their Excellence

Akira Yoshino
Akira Yoshino

Global Energy Prize honors Japanese and Russian for their outstanding work in energy research and technology

By Maureen Chigbo  |  Apr. 29, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

TWO scientists from Japan and Russia will be honoured with the Global Energy Prize, GEP, in June for their outstanding work in energy research and technology. The 2013 Global Energy Prize laureates are Akira Yoshino of Japan and Vladimir Evgenyevich Fortov of Russia. Yoshino got the award for his ground-breaking work in the development of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery, the beating heart of mobile electronic devices, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. He is a fellow at the Asahi Kasei Corporation and is president of the Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center, LIBTEC, in Japan.

Fortov, who works in the Department for Power Industry, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanics and Control Processes, Russian Academy of Sciences, got his award for his pioneering research i thermodynamic, thermophysical, electrophysical, and electronic properties of fluids and construction materials in extensive and previously unexplored area of phase diagram.

GEP, one of the world’s most prestigious awards recognising outstanding achievements across the world in energy research and technology, on April 18, announced the two honorees. The prize comes with a total $1.2 million endowment to help laureate honorees fund future research projects. It is the largest energy research grant of its kind in the world.

Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, hailed this year’s honorees and said they represented the best of the Global Energy Prize’s rich and growing tradition. “Since its inception, the Global Energy Prize has been one of the most prestigious international awards, rallying around shared goals, the creative community of talented scientists, researchers and experts in the field of energy from Russia and many other countries,” Putin said.

This year’s Global Energy Prize honorees were announced before a globally represented audience of scientists, diplomats and journalists at the RIA-Novosti Press Center in Moscow. “It is a tremendous honor to be here among this distinguished crowd and to be recognised in this way. I’m very humbled by this,” said Yoshino at the ceremony. “I, like my fellow honorees, feel truly honored with this reward and thank the Global Energy Prize for giving international recognition to excellence in energy research,” said Fortov after receiving his honor.

The Global Energy Prize, now in its 11th year, is awarded annually to the most accomplished minds in the energy research field for their work and contributions to helping address the world’s various and most pressing energy challenges. “We are pleased to once again have such a superb list of very accomplished honorees that represent what GEP is all about,” said Igor Lobovsky, GEP President.

This year’s laureates were selected from a field of 82 world-class scientists from all over the world who were nominated by their peers. “We had a very impressive list of candidates from which to select both in terms of quantity and, of course, quality,” said Mr. Rodney John Allam, Chairman of the International Award Committee and a 2012 GEP laureate from the United Kingdom.

The Global Energy Prize has been awarded to 27 honorees since its 2002 inception. The prize is awarded by the International Award Committee, which includes 37 internationally-recognised scientists and energy specialists. The degree to which a development contributes to the benefit of humanity is a key criterion in awarding the Prize. Candidates can be nominated only by the highest-rated scientists, which include laureates of the Kyoto, Max Planck, Wolf and Balzan prizes and Nobel Prize laureates in physics or chemistry.

The GEP honor has been awarded over the years for outstanding research achievement in a variety of energy fields and applications, including the development of projects, engineering improvements and application-oriented innovations in energy efficiency; and in inventions and research projects that have opened up new energy supply resources. This year’s GEP honorees will accept their monetary prize from Putin in June as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Global Energy Prize awards over $1m each year, and thus far has been granted to 27 scientists from around the globe, including past laureates from the US, Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Russia, Ukraine and Japan. The President of the Russian Federation participates in each year’s award ceremony held at the conclusion of a week-long celebration of the awardees’ work, laureates’ week. Other world leaders who have supported the prize include George W. Bush, former US President, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, former British prime ministers, Jacques Chirac, former French president and Steven Harper, Canadian prime minister, Steven Harper.