About the Award

Awarded for original scientific work of intrinsic scientific importance and with significant, beneficial applications in industry. The recipient is awarded a $25,000 prize.

Geoffrey W. Coates, Cornell University, received the 2023 NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science.

Coates’ discoveries have revolutionized polymer recycling, materials for green hydrogen generation, and the synthesis of sustainable plastics. He is widely recognized for his discovery of efficient synthetic processes to make important high-performance plastics from biorenewable resources.

2024 NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science, Coates social

Coates has made contributions to important new high-performance materials including the design of new polymeric materials for safe and practical energy conversion and storage applications. He continues to innovate with his most recent work on the development a novel multiblock polymer that could revolutionize the recycling of plastic waste.

Watch Coates’ acceptance speech.

Award History

The NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science was established by the IBM Corporation in honor of its executive and applied mathematician Ralph E. Gomory. The award was first presented in 1990 to Carl Djerassi, who invented the first successful oral contraceptive and led the team that brought it to market and won its public acceptance.

Previous recipients of the NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Five recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science (Djerassi, 1973; Holonyak, 1990; Sinfelt, 1979; Hirschmann, 2000; Venter, 2008) and one recipient has received a Nobel Prize in Physics (Nakamura 2014).

Most Recent Recipient
Geoffrey W. Coates, 2023 NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science
Geoffrey W. Coates
2023 (material sciences)
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Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including biophysics, astronomy, microbiology, medical sciences, and more.

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Award Types

Previous Award Recipients

Shuji Nakamura
2020 (sustainability)
Robert H. Dennard
2017 (computer science)
James C. Liao
2014 (bio-energy)
H. Boyd Woodruff
2011 (agriculture)
Robert T. Fraley
2008
Philip Needleman
2005