First Laureates of International "Global Energy" Prize Named

Laureates of the first international "Global Energy" prize have been announced in Moscow, Nobel prize winner Zhores Alfyorov, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and chairman of the international prize-awarding committee, told reporters on Thursday.

On the day before committee members had examined five best contributions and decided to award the prizes to Illinois /US/ University professor Nike Holonyak for a fundamental contribution to the establishment of silicon high-power electronics and invention of first semiconducting light-emitting diodes in the visible part of the spectrum, and also to Gennady Mesyats, Russian Academy of Sciences vice-president, and Ian Douglas Smith, a US scientist, for fundamental research and development in high-power impulse energy.

Alfyorov explained that the prize is given for the development of energy- and resource-saving technologies, which are today one of the vital tasks facing humankind. According to him, the winner's purse is 900,000 dollars and will be distributed evenly among the three laureates.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, a presidential aide, emphasised that "it is important that the prize has become international".

"It is symbolic that among the winners are members of two great energy powers - Russia and the US," he added. "This means that the Russian-American energy dialogue which the presidents of the two countries - Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush - had earlier agreed to launch has been confirmed, developed and filled with content".

The laureates will deliver lectures in St Petersburg this spring.

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