ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Japanese and Russian Scientist Both Awarded for Research into Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries and Thermodynamics
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday honoured the 2013 laureates of the Global Energy Prize (GEP) at a presentation ceremony that took place as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Dr. Akira Yoshino of Japan and Mr. Vladimir Fortov of Russia were awarded a joint endowment of USD 1.1 million (RUB 33 million) for their respective work, in what has become one of the world's most prestigious energy awards in recent years.
"This award to Dr. Yoshino brings us an opportunity to further strengthen cooperation and exchange between Japan and Russia in the area of energy, as well as in science and technology," underlined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a message to the ceremony participants.
"A stable energy supply is the foundation of a sound economy, and guaranteeing this alongside the effective use of energy is an unavoidable challenge for any country. In view of this challenge, the Government of Japan intends to support corporations and researchers that continue to take on the challenge of innovation, and make it one of the driving forces of economic growth in Japan," he added.
The prize, shared between the laureates, is aimed at helping the honourees fund future research projects and represents the world's largest energy research grant of its kind. Now in its 11th year, the GEP is awarded annually to the brightest minds in the energy research world for their work and contributions to addressing the world's most pressing energy challenges.
Dr. Yoshino, a Fellow at the Asahi Kasei Corp and President of the Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Centre in Japan, was rewarded for his work in the development of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery. His research has made a significant contribution to the operation of mobile electronic devices, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles.
Indeed, according to industry estimates, the global market for lithium-ion batteries of all sizes and uses could top $40 billion to upwards of $50 billion by 2020, a five-fold increase from 2010. This will be due to more and more consumer electronic devices like smart-phones and electric vehicle sectors are produced and equipped with such energy storage devices.
The work of Mr. Fortov in thermodynamics and electronic properties of fluids and construction materials was simultaneously acknowledged, having played an important role in a variety of high density plasma applications. A physicist by training, Mr. Fortov was recently elected head of the celebrated Russian Academy of Sciences.
Speaking prior to the ceremony, Mr. Nikolay Laverov, Chairman of The GEP Board of Trustees and member of the board of directors at Rosneft Oil Company, praised the GEP Laureates' technological developments and innovations, both for the direct energy challenges they help address, as well as for the wider economic and societal benefits their work accrues to society. "The effects from their work are positive and wide and contribute to societies all over the world," said Mr. Laverov.
Rodney John Allam, Chairman of the International Award Committee and himself a former Laureate, praised the winners of this year's award, saying that they had maintained the high standards set in previous years. "The application GEP Laureate innovations serve and the economic benefits are at the heart of the GEP tradition," he said.
Igor Lobovsky, President of the GEP Partnership, echoed Allam's comments adding that "Our 2013 Laureates once again raise the bar on energy technological progress".
The Economist correspondent scoops 'Energy of Words' prize
The Global Energy Non-profit partnership also honoured the 2013 winner of the Energy of Words award, an annual international media award established in 2004. Natasha Loder of The Economist won for her work on education technology and its potential to innovate in schools.
"I'm enormously grateful to receive this award. This award will allow me to continue to follow my passions and to pursue the stories that I hope will inspire and delight others," said Ms. Loder, the weekly publication's U.S. Midwest Correspondent since 2011.
Prior to joining The Economist over a decade ago, Ms. Loder worked at the scientific journal Nature and The Times Higher Education Supplement, and for a brief period as a scientist. Candidates for the Energy of Words prize come from publications and media outlets around the world, including The New York Times.
About the Global Energy Prize
The Global Energy Prize has been granted to 29 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 former US President George W. Bush, former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, former French President Jacques Chirac and current Canadian Prime Minister, Steven Harper.
SOURCE Fleishman-Hillard SA