2022 VinFuture Prize honours nine innovators
Nine authors of four breakthrough science and technology achievements generating “Reviving and Reshaping” to humanity were among those awarded the 2022 VinFuture Prize at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 20.
Five scientists won the VinFuture Grand Prize, worth 3 million USD, namely Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (the UK), Dr Vinton Gray Cerf (the US), Dr Emmanuel Desurvire (France), Dr Robert Elliot Kahn (the US), and Prof. Sir David Neil Payne (the UK), who made breakthrough inventions in global internet connection technology, which have comprehensively changed means of communications and working and laid a stepping stone for modern socio-economic development.
Besides, three Special Prizes worth 500,000 USD each were also presented.
The Special Prize for innovators with outstanding achievements in emerging fields was bestowed upon Dr Demis Hassabis from the UK and Dr John Jumper from the US, who developed artificial intelligence system AlphaFold 2 that decodes protein sequences, making a revolution in protein structure modeling and promoting breakthrough development in biomedicine, health care, and agriculture.
The Special Prize for innovators from developing countries went to Prof. Thalappil Pradeep of India, who invented a low-cost system for filtering water contaminated with arsenic and heavy metal to help supply clean water for hundreds of millions of residents in areas affected by water pollution.
Meanwhile, the Special Prize for female innovators honoured Prof. Pamela Christine Ronald of the US, who succeeded in isolating the Sub1A gene to create a condition for developing flood-tolerant rice varieties.
Addressing the ceremony, broadcast live globally, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his delight that the second season of VinFuture surpassed the first in terms of both quantity and quality. It attracted 970 nominations, almost doubling that in the first season, from more than 70 countries around the world. The rate of nominees who are among the top 2% of the world’s most cited researchers also more than doubled.
In addition, the rate of nominees from Asia increased to 34.6% and from Africa to 12.4%, rising over 6-fold from 2021. That showed the strong inspiration generated by the Vietnamese-initiated global science and technology prize, as well as the great hope for science and technology achievements’ contributions to the life of millions of people in developing countries and to a more equal world based on science and technology, he noted.
The top legislator expressed his hope that aside from honouring the scientists with prominent studies helping create a sustainable living environment for future generations, VinFuture will also help global researchers and inventors realise their great aspirations to serve humanity.
The VinFuture Prize was set up by the VinFuture Foundation, a non-profit organisation established on December 20, 2020, by billionaire and founder of Vingroup Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife, Pham Thu Huong.
The prize aims to honour remarkable scientific and technological studies by global inventors and researchers who make meaningful changes to the daily life of millions of people.
The third season of VinFuture began as soon as the award ceremony concluded.