LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 1 March 2012 – IEEE has established a new award, the IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award, sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and Hitachi, Ltd. The award will recognize significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems through the application of information technology with an emphasis on distributed computing systems. These improvements will create more efficient infrastructure systems, energy savings, resource utilization and cost efficiency. Other criteria will include originality of systems concept, leadership, impact on innovation and extension to further technological development.
The award may be granted to an individual, or to a team or multiple recipients of up to three individuals.
IEEE President Gordon Day said, "After education, the technological infrastructure of a country is the most important enabler of innovation, and thus a key to improvements in quality-of-life and prosperity. We need to do a better job of recognizing the technologists who spend their careers building the infrastructure that we need, and we are grateful to Hitachi, Ltd., for making it possible to do just that. Hitachi, Ltd.'s vision to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products is a natural fit with IEEE's mission to advance technology for humanity."
In January 2012, Hitachi, Ltd. received the IEEE Milestone for pioneering the development of the world's "First Practical Field Emission Electron Microscope, 1972." This development, which eventually led to the initial observation of the AIDS virus, clearly benefitted and impacted society on a global level. Established in 1983, the IEEE Milestone recognizes a significant technical achievement that occurred at least 25 years ago and honors historical technical achievements from among innovations in the electrical, electronics, information and communications engineering fields that have contributed substantially to the advancement of industry and society.
According to Hiroaki Nakanishi, President of Hitachi, Ltd., "Since its foundation in 1910, it has been Hitachi's corporate credo to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products. It is a great honor to be able to sponsor this new technical field award recognizing "Innovations in Societal Infrastructure" within IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization. Through this award, together with IEEE, we hope to promote the worldwide advancement of innovative technology for IT-based social infrastructure to contribute to the achievement of a sustainable society in harmony with the environment."
"We hope that this award goes far in providing much-needed recognition to innovators in this important technology area," said IEEE Computer Society President John Walz. "Societal infrastructure controls and monitors the systems that enable us to live our lives and conduct business, from power plants and traffic lights to essential financial, security and health systems, yet the technical accomplishments of those designing the systems are often overlooked."
Recipients of the IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award, which will commence in 2014, will receive a bronze medal, a certificate and honorarium. Nominations for the 2014 IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award are due by 31 January 2013.