The Wilhelm Exner Medal has been awarded by the Austrian Industry Association, Österreichischer Gewerbeverein [de] (ÖGV), for excellence in research and science since 1921.
Wilhelm Exner Medal
The medal is dedicated to Wilhelm Exner (1840-1931), former president of the Association, who initialized the chamber of commerce in Austria, the Vienna Technical Museum and the World Exhibition in Vienna. According to Wilhelm Exner the combination of science and economy formed the groundwork for economical growth and wealth. Wilhelm Exner considered the radical changes in the economic and social framework of the 20th century to be an opportunity and aimed to tackle the issues arising offensively and constructively. He represented the cosmopolitan Austrian liberalism with a commitment to modernization and transformation of the economy, science and society. Throughout his career, he has taken a variety of key initiatives and has been involved by helping economy and business.
The Wilhelm Exner Medal is awarded to scientists and researchers that have had a direct impact on business and industry through their scientific achievements and contributions. The award was created to honor the 60th anniversary of Wilhelm Exner's association with ÖGV. The selection of the scientist to be honored takes place at the suggestion and consultation of the former medalists and is confirmed by the board of the Wilhelm Exner Foundation and by the board of the Austrian Entrepreneur´s Association.
Since the Wilhelm Exner Medal was established, over 230 inventors, researchers and scientists have been honored, including 21 Nobel Prize awardees.
The medal has a diameter of 7.5 cm and is made of bronze. It bears on the front of the picture and the signature Wilhelm Exner, on the back the inscription: "Wilhelm Exner Medal of the Austrian Trade Association in Vienna"; the name of the individual to which the medal was awarded; and the year of the award.
In order to honor the new Wilhelm Exner Medalists, the Exner Lectures offer a symposium where the awarded scientists present their current topics of research. The lectures complement the festive ceremony of the medal and offer an opportunity to bring the economic and scientific communities together. Each year, the Association sends out a signal that the cooperative interaction between researchers and entrepreneurs is the basis for prosperity and growth.