Tuesday , September 26 2023

Scientists: VinFuture prizes honour sci-tech ideas serving humanity


Scientists in discussion at the exchange. —Photo nhandan.vn

HÀ NỘI — An exchange with international scientists, who are members of the VinFuture Prize Council and Pre-Screening Committee, was held in Hà Nội on Tuesday, as part of the VinFuture Award Week.

In the first season, the organising board received more than 1,200 entries from 654 leading universities, 51 well-known research institutes, and 42 national science academies globally. Among the 599 innovations in the competition, about 100 are made by the top 2 per cent of the most-cited scientists in the world. Female scientists in the event accounted for 34.3 per cent of the total, many of them winners of Nobel, Breakthrough, Tang and Japan prizes.

The competition drew participants from 60 countries, 52.6 per cent of their projects are from North America and the European Union. Việt Nam also joined in with 17 projects. The result far exceeded the expectation of a brand new prize like VinFuture.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Lê Mai Lan, Vice Chairwoman of VinGroup and Designated Representative of VinFuture Foundation, said over a year ago, billionaire Phạm Nhật Vượng and his spouse committed US$100 million to the establishment of VinFuture Foundation with an aim to unlock development potentials of developing nations on the back sci-tech innovations.

Prof. Albert Paul Pisano from the University of California, San Diego, US, who is co-Chairman of the VinFuture Prize Pre-screening Committee, said the awards recognised scientists’ efforts that could impact millions of lives, adding that there were few awards that honoured and connected scientists right from the stage of ideation to implementation and connectivity.

He said at first, the committee expected to receive about 200 entries, but in the end three times that amount took part.

Prof. Nguyễn Thục Quyên from the University of California, Co-Chairwoman of the committee, said what made VinFuture awards outstanding was its vision to bring sci-tech inventions to the poor.

Prof. Đặng Văn Chí, Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, member of the Prize Council, said he agreed to serve as a jury as the awards honoured scientific works that fulfilled the mission of serving humanity and made a positive difference to millions of lives globally.

According to Prof. Richard Henry Friend from the UK’s Cambridge University, Chairman of the Prize Council, entries sent to the competition are not only high in number but also in quality.

During this season, there is a VinFuture Grand Prize worth $3 million and three special prizes, each worth $500,000 for female scientists, innovators from developing nations, or outstanding achievements in emerging fields.

Entries will be reviewed by 12 members of the Pre-Screening Committee and later 11 members of the Prize Council.

The award ceremony will take place on January 20 evening. — VnExpress News

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