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Exner Lectures & Wilhelm Exner Medal
of Österreichischer Gewerbeverein
Österreichischer Gewerbeverein (ÖGV), Austrian Association of SME, awards the Wilhelm Exner Medal, named after the Austrian economic and technology conveyor, since 1921. Since that year 233 scientists and inventors, including 22 Nobel Prize winners, have been awarded.
The diverse research results of the laureates are characterized by a respect for entrepreneurial practice, as they form and constitute the fundament for growth of trade and industry. Therefore they correspond entirely to the principles expressed by Wilhelm Exner (1840-1931).
Exner always looked at the revolutionizing economic and social changes in his life as a great opportunity and was aimed to cope with problems proactively and constructively. Exner represented the cosmopolitan Austrian liberalism, which was committed to modernize and transform the economy, science and society in lieu of foreclosure and enemy images.
During his long career he set a variety of critical initiatives and held important private and public functions. His career was marked by sustainable action, never by pessimism, but by a strong will to modernize society.
At the age of 35, he was rector of the University - then college - of Natural Resources (www.boku.ac.at). He was among other initiators and from 1879 to 1904 first director of the Technological Trade Museum (www.tgm.ac.at) in Vienna. In addition he was also instrumental in the creation of laws, in the formation of the Vienna Technical Museum, industrial and the Austrian Research Institutes for the History of Technology and the Technical Laboratory.
These characteristics dominating Wilhelm Exners personality are found in its basic features with many Wilhelm Exner Medal carriers. Among the laureates there is a variety of excellent physicists, chemists, mathematicians, mechanical engineers, doctors, biologists, ingenious inventors and designers, many of whom have been internationally awarded the highest scientific awards and honors.
Thelecture is held every year, with the focus on hte field of research of the years medalist. Following the statutes of the Wilhelm-Exner-Medal-Foundation all nominations fpr the medal are restricted to the previous laureats, in order to guarantee the internationally high level of the medal. Lectures and ceremony is held every november in the presence of highest representatives of the Republic of Austria.