Professor Elvira Fortunato, Vice-Rector of NOVA, and Full Professor at NOVA School of Science and Technology | FCT NOVA is the winner of the 2020 Pessoa Award.
This year in its 34th edition, the Prize is an initiative of the weekly newspaper Expresso and Caixa Geral de Depósitos, and aims to distinguish, in each year, a Portuguese personality who has achieved the most prominence through his/her work, whether in the areas of science, arts, architecture or literature.
The Professor is the seventh woman and also the seventh scientist, to be recognized with this distinction of great importance.
Francisco Pinto Balsemão, founder and president of the prize, made the announcement of the winner highlighting the “pioneering work” of Elvira Fortunato.
According to the Expresso website:
“Known for her work in the areas of transparent electronic and electronic paper, Elvira Fortunato concentrated all her research in a pioneering area worldwide, which allowed science to approach everyday objects, accessible to everyone. The discovery of paper as a conductor of electricity (from recycled material soaked in metal oxides) allows, for example, the creation of panels, batteries or transistors for everyday use. Her findings are already patented in several countries and are used in the manufacture of screens or even miniature photovoltaic panels that allow, for example, their application in umbrellas capable of charging the mobile phone during a stay at the beach.
Bringing the academy and its work to the companies is one of the main originalities of this researcher, who, among other discoveries, allowed the use of electronic sensors applied in simple packaging to accurately monitor the state of conservation of the products up to the final consumer. ”
This year, Francisco Pinto Balsemão and Emílio Rui Vilar (vice president of the award and president of CGD) counted on the collaboration of the following jury for the 2020 Pessoa Award: Ana Pinho, António Barreto, Clara Ferreira Alves, Diogo Lucena, Eduardo Souto de Moura, José Luís Porfírio, Maria Manuel Mota, Pedro Norton, Rui Magalhães Baião, Rui Vieira Nery and Viriato Soromenho-Marques.