A noticeable initiative from Vietnam to support sci-tech

Technological innovations play a huge and practical role in human life, bringing about a positive influence on millions of people. However, it takes a long process and resources and money to apply inventions and innovations to life.

The establishment of funds to donate or invest in the future is a common trend for world billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg, who invests in the Breakthrough Prize, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offers a lot of scholarships for scientists. Thanks to such funds, many science and technology projects have become useful tools and resources for human life.

The VinFuture Prize is the first global science and technology prize from Vietnam and one of the world’s largest annual prizes in science and technology. The VinFuture Foundation was founded by Pham Nhat Vuong, the first Vietnamese billionaire, Founder and Chairman of the largest Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup Corporation, together with his wife, Pham Thu Huong.

The VinFuture Prize pledges US$4.5 million annually for rewards, of which the $3 million Grand Prize is one of the most impressive awards in the field of science-technology worldwide. The three special prizes worth $500,000 each will be presented to scientists from developing countries, pioneers in emerging fields and female researchers or scientists.

The VinFuture Prize is considered the most notable initiative in recent years and is expected to find solutions to global problems such as epidemics, security, and food, etc. The awards also promote technological innovations, leading to better lives for people around the globe.

Through this contributed article, TechNode Global had a talk with Dr. Le Mai Lan, Vice Chairwoman of Vingroup and Designated Representative of the VinFuture Foundation, about the VinFuture Award as well as technological innovations.

Dr. Le Mai Lan, Vice Chairwoman of Vingroup and Designated Representative of the VinFuture Foundation
Dr. Le Mai Lan, Vice Chairwoman of Vingroup and Designated Representative of the VinFuture Foundation

How did the world’s scientists respond to the VinFuture Prize?

The VinFuture Prize received great attention from scientists around the globe right after its announcement. In particular, we have received prompt responses from scientists from leading universities and scientific research institutes in the world.

For example, Harvard University (US)–where many prestigious scientists gather; the National Institutes of Health (US)–the headquarters of the US government in charge of public health; the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are both known for their Nobel laureates; which a famous place for research on natural science, science and technology; the Max Planck Society is on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide in science and technology; Tokyo University- Japan’s leading prestigious higher education institution and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious scientific institutions.

Professor Albert P. Pisano–Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California San Diego, US–co-chair of the VinFuture Prize Pre-Screening commitee, shared with the media: “A valuable award like VinFuture really means a lot to a developing country like Vietnam; it proves Vietnam’s pioneering position, importance, and influence, and at the same time brings the message to the world: ‘One for everyone’.”

Thereby, the VinFuture Prize, it can be said, has helped inspire many generations of researchers, both young scientists and inventors, and experienced professionals, and it aims to honor brilliant minds with innovative applications that can change people’s lives now and in the future.

How many nominations has the VinFuture Prize received so far?

We have received feedback from more than 700 reputable organizations and individuals that registered to submit nominations only two months after opening the admission gate. More than 150 nominated project drafts have been submitted to date and continue to be perfected. This truly impressive figure represents the belief and excitement of scientists for the new prize, VinFuture.

In addition to traditional countries in science and technology such as the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and South Korea, VinFuture has received nomination registrations from scientists from developing countries in Latin America and Africa, which are regions with many potential challenges in sustainable development but have lacked adequate investment in science and technology.

How has innovation in science and technology promoted the development of the world and people?

In my opinion, human development history goes hand in hand with the history of science and technology development. While the majority of the global population is living in developing countries, where there is a need to access the achievements of science and technology inventions for their daily problems, the outstanding minds of science are concentrated in countries with developed science and technology, where the quality of life is much better than the rest of the world.

With today’s scientific development, VinFuture hopes innovation will be a common task of the world scientific community, a community working together to address global economic, social, and environmental challenges and so on, to move innovation from where it is most needed to scale up the impact and make it more practical and human.

On January 20, 2021, the Inaugural Prize Council Meeting took place. It was agreed that nominations will be sought from all nations.
On January 20, 2021, the Inaugural Prize Council Meeting took place. It was agreed that nominations will be sought from all nations.

How important is driving innovation globally?

In recent decades, there have been breakthrough inventions by famous scientists that have changed the world. However, rapid economic development is not always favorable; it also leaves negative consequences on quality of life, such as climate change, lack of clean water, exhaustion of resources, epidemics, inequality, and so on. Therefore, the birth of VinFuture is really meaningful for future innovation by promoting economic development, giving future generations a green planet and a pollution-free environment.

What do you expect on the awards night of the VinFuture Prize 2021?

The VinFuture prize award ceremony will be a festival honoring not only outstanding academic work but also promoting excellent research and inventions that bring the best and most practical values to humans. The awards night is really an important and meaningful event for the global community of scientists and technology because it honors the most worthy topics; which have or will have the potential to address global challenges such as epidemics, climate change, and innovation in technology. More deeply, this is also an event that holds the hope of millions of people for the miracles and practicality that science can bring to make their daily lives better and better.

Above all these, the inventions are honored as valuable, meaningful, and inspirational intellectual gifts for future generations, as per the name of the VinFuture Prize–An Award of the Future.

Thank you.

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Vietnamese billionaire launches VinFuture Prize to support R&D and tech innovations, pledges $4.5M annual funding