At the 25th anniversary Glass Performance Days (GPD) event in 2017, the Jorma Vitkala Award of Merit was created to recognize outstanding individual contributions to the glass industry. This award, named in honor of its first recipient, will be granted at each subsequent GPD opening ceremony to a new recipient selected through an international nomination procedure.

“GPD has become the reference for the industry in terms of knowledge management and networking. Three days at GPD gives you a year’s worth of learning, contacting industry colleagues or looking for innovation and new business opportunities. All this would not be possible without the personal touch of Jorma Vitkala,” says Jean-Paul Hautekeer, global strategic marketing director of high performance buildings at Dow Europe and chairman of the nomination committee.

“While the highlighting and personification of the award is a very concrete and effective publicity step, we wish to underline that it is for the common good and progress of the glass industry that the award is instituted,” Hautekeer says. “Continued innovative progress and bold new solutions will keep the applications of glass at the forefront for designers, industries and research institutions, and provide us with effective competitiveness in the choices of materials and solutions for building, automotive and interior decorating. This award is our special tribute to leading contributors in the development of the glass industry.”

At the end of 2018, a committee of representatives from GPD sponsors and selected group of international glass industry media representatives was established to open the international nomination procedure and to screen the recipients. Numerous outstanding nominations of contributors that made a significant impact through their work on innovative products, processes, systems, construction, design or architecture were received by the committee. All nominations were supported by a brief description of the nominee’s relevant merits and contributions.

The full list of nominees is available here.

The final decision on the winner of this year’s award will be made by secret ballot among the nomination committee. Hautekeer, will count the votes. This year’s winner will be announced at the GPD Opening Ceremony on June 26, 2019.