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19 October 2007


Lumileds’ CTO wins Economist innovation award

At the 2007 Economist Innovation awards at The Science Museum in London, UK, Dr George Craford, chief technology officer of high-power LED maker Philips Lumileds Lighting Co, has received the Innovation Prize in Energy and the Environment.

The annual awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of new products, processes and markets in bioscience; computing and telecoms; social and economic innovation; ‘no boundaries’ business process; consumer products; and energy and the environment.

The Economist’s 25-strong judging panel acknowledged Craford’s status in the LED market, his leadership of the development of LED technology, and his contribution to the commercial success of Philips Lumileds.

Craford’s research work at Philips Lumileds and previously at Monsanto and Hewlett-Packard has enabled product innovations that have seen the LED transformed into a viable, energy-efficient replacement for traditional incandescent and fluorescent light sources, says Lumileds. The firm’s LUXEON LEDs are used in applications from architectural and entertainment lighting to retail and office luminaires as well as vehicle headlights.

“George Craford and Roland Haitz's pioneering work on the development and commercialization of LEDs means that the proportion of human energy consumption attributable to lighting will finally go down,” says The Economist’s business editor Tom Standage. Haitz retired in 2002 after 35 years at Hewlett-Packard/Agilent Technologies (Philips’ former joint venture partner in Lumileds), latterly as R&D manager, where he formulated Haitz's Law (which predicts a doubling of LED brightness every 18-24 months).

Craford commented: “It is wonderful to think that my work and that of my colleagues has helped to create a practical replacement to conventional lighting, that is both energy-efficient, and that can significantly reduce the impact of lighting on the environment by using less toxic materials and reducing CO2 emissions.”

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