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Scientists: VinFuture prizes honour sci-tech ideas serving humanity

An exchange with international scientists, who are members of the VinFuture Prize Council and Pre-Screening Committee, was held in Hanoi on January 18, as part of the VinFuture Award Week.

In the first season, the organising board received over 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 top 2 percent of the most-cited scientists in the world. Female scientists in the event accounted for 34.3 percent of the total, many of them winners of Nobel, Breakthrough, Tang and Japan prizes.

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

Speaking at the event, Dr. Le Mai Lan, Vice Chairwoman of VinGroup and Designated Representative of VinFuture Foundation, said over a year ago, billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong and his spouse committed 100 million USD 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, the US, who is co-Chairman of the VinFuture Prize Pre-screening Committee, said the awards recognise scientists’ efforts that could impact millions of lives, adding that there are few awards that honour and connect scientists right from the stage of ideation to implementation and connectivity.

He said at first, the committee expected to receive about 200 entries, but it turned out to triple that.

Prof. Nguyen Thuc Quyen from the University of California, Co-Chairwoman of the committee, said what makes VinFuture awards outstanding is its vision to bring sci-tech inventions to the poor.

Prof. Dang Van Chi, Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, member of the Prize Council, said he agrees to serve as a jury as the awards honour scientific works that fulfill the mission of serving humanity and make 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 USD and three special prizes, each worth 500,000 USD 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./.