The press conference was opened by Arkady Dvorkovich, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation and Member of the Global Energy Board of Trustees. In his words, “The Prize, which was founded in 2002, wins increasing authority for itself with every year. It is also important that our scientists be on a competitive level with outstanding foreign scientists. Without a doubt, we can confirm that they deserve this award.”
The Prize amount this year has increased by three million rubles. This was announced by the Chairman of the Management Board of JSC FGC UES, one of the founders of the Prize, Oleg Budargin. “This year, there are special features. We have decided to increase the Prize amount to 33 million rubles,” he said at a press conference with RIA Novosti.
The names of the laureates were announced by Nikolay Laverov, Vice President of the RAS and Chairman of the Global Energy International Award Committee. He stated that this year, 253 nomination forms for the Prize were received from 48 countries. The main topics of the research were new energy conversion methods, renewable energy sources, energy efficient manufacturing, and prospecting for and transportation of energy resources.
Academician Filipp Rutberg won the Global Energy Prize for the study, development, and creation of plasma energy technologies. F.G. Rutberg created a new direction in the physics and technology of dense low-temperature plasma, as well as essentially new high-current plasma systems.
The second laureate for 2011, US scientist Arthur Rosenfeld, is known for his innovative and technological developments in the field of energy-efficient building construction. Rosenfeld’s influence in the world sphere of energy efficiency is so great that at one time, a group of scientists proposed naming a unit of conserved energy in his honor.
Academician Evgeny Velikhov, Chairman of the Prize Board of Trustees and President of the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, called the laureates during the press conference and congratulated them on having been awarded the Prize. “This is a great honor for me. And for the field I represent, for our Russian fields of science and energy,” Academician Rutberg said in thanks. Professor Rosenfeld, who, notwithstanding the huge time difference between Russia and the US, was called in California directly from the press conference, said that was “great” and that he is “very happy”. He stated that he will try to come to the ceremony in St. Petersburg.
The Global Energy Prize Awarding Ceremony is traditionally held in June 2011 as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Laureates will receive their award from the hands of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The 2011 laureates were determined on 13 April at a meeting of the Prize International Award Committee. Its members are 35 outstanding scientists who head the most authoritative scientific organizations, as well as government and societal figures, from Russia, the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Hungary, Brazil, Japan, Sweden, India, and other countries.
The Prize’s high status is conditioned, first and foremost, on its importance to scientific technical progress. The encouragement of scientists searching for solutions for humanity’s most pressing energy problems facilitates the formation of a new image for Russia that corresponds to its role in the development of science, the economy, and environmental protection.
In the nine years of its existence, the Global Energy Prize has become a prestigious international award. During that time, 24 outstanding scientists from the world’s largest countries – Great Britain, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, the USA, Ukraine, France, and Japan – have become laureates. The Global Energy Prize not only stimulates the development of energy as a science, but also demonstrates the importance of international cooperation in that field.