Prof Daniel Wagner, recipient of the 2014 Christoffel Plantin Prize
Professor Daniel Wagner of the Weizmann Institute of Science was awarded the 2014 Christoffel Plantin Prize at a ceremony that took place in Antwerp on October 20th, in the presence of the Governor of the Province of Antwerp, the ambassador of Israel in Belgium and the ambassador of Belgium in Israel. Each year, this prestigious prize is bestowed upon a Belgian citizen who resides outside Belgium and who has made a significant contribution in his or her field of study. Professor Wagner, born in Israel of Belgian parents, is a prominent scientific leader in materials science, and a world-renowned specialist in the field of nanocomposites.
Special bonds unite the Weizmann Institute with Belgium: Dr. Chaïm Weizmann, a scientist and first President of the State of Israel, and his spouse were close friends with Queen Elisabeth who visited them several times in their residence in Rehovot, now situated inside the campus of the Institute. Moreover, as noted by Governor Cathy Berx during the ceremony, the awarding of the prize to an Israeli citizen highlights the strong links between the city of Antwerp and Israel. Many members of the Belgian community now living in Israel came from Antwerp and Antwerp is a twin city of Haifa. …
This award granted to a prominent Belgo-Israeli scientist is also in keeping with the efforts of the Embassy to reinforce the bilateral relations in the field of scientific innovation. Last June, the Embassy launched, together with a few young Belgian entrepreneurs who had emigrated to Israel, the new “Belgian-Israeli business club”, which aims precisely at promoting exchanges in the field of innovation.
The ceremony gave Professor Wagner the opportunity to meet many of his Belgian colleagues and friends. Particularly moving was his encounter with the members of the Likin family, who had hidden his mother during the Nazi occupation of Belgium in WWII. As a token of gratitude, Prof. Wagner had them recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” by Yad Vashem.(photo: from left to right: Prof. Daniel Wagner, Guy Van Doosselaere, President of the Christoffel Plantin Foundation and Cathy Berx, Governor of the province of Antwerp).
Embassy of Belgium in Tel-Aviv – foto: Prof. Daniel Wagner, Mr. Guy van Doosselaere, chairman of the Christoffel Plantin Fund and Mrs. Cathy Berx, governor of the province of Antwerp