Laureates FWO-Excellence prizes
The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) has today announced the five laureates of the FWO Excellence Awards. Every five years, an international jury awards a prize worth €100,000 to eminent scientists in recognition of their research careers. The prizes are also known as the ‘Flemish Nobel Prizes’. The Excellence Award in Exact Sciences has a female laureate for the first time.
The prestigious FWO Excellence Awards are awarded in the five main science areas. Researchers cannot apply for the award themselves, but are nominated by peers from Belgium or abroad. An independent jury of international top scientists screens the nominations and selects one laureate in each area.
Named after former scientists who wished to perpetuate their work and commitment to science through a bequest, the awards were first presented in 1960.
The 2020 laureates are:
- Conny Aerts (Department of Astronomy - KU Leuven): laureate of the dr. A. De Leeuw-Damry-Bourlart Excellence Award 2020 in Exact Sciences.
- Wout Boerjan (Plant Systems Biology [biofuels] - VIB - UGent): laureate of the dr. A. De Leeuw-Damry-Bourlart Excellence Award 2020 in Applied Sciences.
- Bart Lambrecht (aged 52) (Asthma and Allergies - VIB - UGent): laureate of the Joseph Maisin Excellence Award 2020 in Fundamental Biomedical Sciences.
- Guy Boeckxstaens (Department of Translational Research in Gastroenterology Disorders - KU Leuven): laureate of the Joseph Maisin Excellence Award 2020 in Clinical Biomedical Sciences.
- Johan Wagemans (Department of Brain and Cognition - KU Leuven): laureate of the Ernest-John Solvay Excellence Award 2020 in Humanities and Social Sciences.
The award ceremony will be held in December with the attendance of the King. The laureates will then receive their prize money and a unique work of art created especially for the occasion by Tom Frantzen.
Flemish Minister of Science Policy Hilde Crevits: “The Excellence Awards of the Research Foundation allow us to bring our Flemish top scientists into the limelight. In these corona times, this is both important and necessary. Thanks to science, research and innovation, we are gradually uncovering the secrets of the coronavirus and learning how we can best arm ourselves against it. It is therefore good that the FWO Excellence Awards focus on the different areas of science.”