The founder of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany, Dr. Adolf Goetzberger has been honored with the award of being named ‘European Inventor of the Year’ in the category of Lifetime Achievement. An independent international jury selected the winners. The awards are a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Patent Office, launched in 2006. They honour inventors and inventions that have made a significant and lasting contribution to technological progress in Europe and so to strengthening the European economy.
Adolf Goetzberger was honoured for his work on the commercial use of solar energy, helping to make solar cells a viable alternative to fossil fuels. “It was an interesting lifetime,” Mr Goetzberger said. “I am surprised myself to see how far we have come. I am glad I have lived long enough to see my work come to fruition.”
The jury included Jonathan Liebenau of the London School of Economics; Jürgen Dormann, former CEO of ABB; Emma Marcegaglia, entrepreneur and head of Confindustria, the Confederation of Italian Industry; and Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, Secretary General of the European Research Council.
Adolf Goetzberger remains actively involved in the field of solar energy. He serves as a consultant for Fraunhofer ISE, goes to work daily and continues to write publications and patent applications.