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Global Energy Prize award ceremony

June 18, 2010, St Petersburg

Dmitry Medvedev presented the awards to Russian scientist and academician Alexander Leontyev, and to Ukrainian scientist Boris Paton, who is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and president of the International Association of Academies of Sciences.

Alexander Leontyev was awarded the prize for his fundamental research on intensifying heat transfer processes in energy installations. His research laid the foundations for a revolutionary method of liquefying gas.

Boris Paton was awarded the prize for his great contribution to solving scientific and technical problems involved in pipeline transportation of energy resources and energy machine building. Mr Paton has created unique electrical welding methods now widely used in industry and in building pipeline systems. 

The Global Energy International Prize was established in 2002 and is awarded each year for outstanding achievements in the energy field. The prize is under the patronage of the Russian President.

The Prize may be awarded to a citizen of any country. All the decisions with respect to Prize award are made by the International Prize Award Committee comprising scientists and specialists from different countries and representatives of international research organizations.

The prize has already been awarded to 22 scientists from nine different countries.

* * *

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends,

Today we are holding the Global Energy Prize award ceremony, just as we did a year ago. This is a fairly young tradition, but I am glad the award has already gained a good reputation. I will just mention one fact: over these years the number of nations that have nominated their candidates for the Prize has grown seven-fold.

A yearly summary is, of course, an opportunity to learn about achievements in the field of energy and draw attention to the global energy security problems, which is especially relevant today. Russia’s input into ensuring this security is certainly not measured merely in cubic metres of gas and barrels of oil. Today, we are truly trying to actively stimulate corresponding domains of knowledge and technologies, and promote fundamentally new products. It is also important that we are striving to make the extraction of energy resources safer for the environment, while making them more affordable to average people.

Since the world is recovering from the global crisis (which is a clear fact no matter how the results of the vote at the forum are interpreted), it is obvious that energy consumption will grow globally pro rata such recovery. At the same time, the issue of environmental responsibility of energy companies and entire countries is becoming very relevant as was visibly demonstrated by the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. We have now seen that even the most reliable and seemingly ordinary technologies may fail. This is an additional reason to engage in the development of new technologies, improve existing ones, and generally rethink the regulatory framework for energy cooperation, to the extent that we are able to agree upon.


The future of global energy is already being built today. It is coming to life at research centres and in laboratories. Scientific discoveries and technological solutions are capable of truly changing the scientific progress, and ultimately, the development of economies and humankind. In my view, Russia’s modernisation efforts should not be separated from the energy sector development. We understand that these are entirely compatible things.

When we criticise the structure of our economy, we only say that Russia cannot develop through growing exports of raw materials alone. At the same time, energy companies and the energy sector overall, have a sizeable potential for innovative development, and that is precisely why energy efficiency and the use of new energy sources are among our national priorities as they mean really high technologies and the very modernisation we are pursuing in our country.

Now I would like to once again present our respected laureates. They certainly deserve this presentation, even though they have already been named several times today. They are genuinely great scientists.

President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Boris Paton is the author of many fundamental studies, which were just mentioned during the presentation. Of course, what’s most interesting for the general public is the application of technological solutions initially intended for industries, in surgical operations for fusion of living human tissue.

Here, I would like to make a brief digression. Scientists exploring energy-related problems (as was the case during the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century) often confront not purely scientific challenges only, but humanitarian and sometimes ethical problems as well. Mr Paton’s professional and life journey serve as good example to this as he made a significant contribution to organising elimination of the Chernobyl disaster impacts, in essence, saving human lives and stabilising environmental situation.

It must be noted that his straightforward position helps unite the scientific community of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is very valuable to us. Today, while continuing to lead the International Association of Academies of Sciences, Mr Paton contributes a great deal of his time to promoting joint projects. This is indeed important for us all because, as we know, science has no boundaries. Given that our schools of science originated from the same source, incessant attention of the most reputed and serious scientists to joint endeavours is a guarantee of further cooperation of our scientific institutions in the future.

Our compatriot, laureate Alexander Leontyev, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As mentioned earlier, Mr Leontyev is the author of several fundamental studies in the field of heat transfer. There was also mention of his invention, Leontyev’s Pipe, which served as the basis for an absolutely revolutionary method of liquefying gas. Mr Leontyev has accomplished a great deal, and today, he teaches at Bauman Moscow State Technical University, where a large number of first-rate specialists have been trained under his tutelage.

I sincerely congratulate our laureates. I wish them good health and success. I am certain that you entirely deserve to be laureates of this prestigious prize. I hope that you will further advance your achievements, pursuing scientific research, and simply strengthening the friendship between our schools of science and our nations.

Thank you.


You know, when I walked up here, I once again felt that energy is a formidable power, as even this lectern produces some electric shock. It’s a good thing that our laureates are mature and experienced individuals who are not afraid of anything and who have already made enormous contributions to science and their countries. They truly never feared anything, they are not even afraid of receiving awards like this. There are people who refuse awards, but our academicians here are not refusing them. Good for them. I support them in their choices.

On behalf of everyone present I would like to once again congratulate the laureates on being awarded a very prestigious and, by now, highly publicised prize. I would like to note the remarks that were just made by our two laureates, the two scientists. Even now, they are in the thick of things, they are living and breathing science, and it is simply a pleasure to listen to them, because it makes us understand that they have devoted their entire lives to their beloved profession and that in essence, they have been working on some very practical things. Most of the business people here today are capable of appreciating this, because it was through the laureates’ efforts that the foundation of the modern energy sector was laid.

I would like to sincerely congratulate you once again. On behalf of all of us, I wish you good health, and I wish you continued scientific success in the future, because you are not abandoning science, but rather, remain in the thick of it. Let’s all congratulate the laureates.

June 18, 2010, St Petersburg