Honoring scientific research for humanity

Honoring scientific research for humanity - Photo 1.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presented the main prize to three scientists: Katalin Kariko (right cover), Pieter Rutter Cullis (left cover) and Drew Weissman – Photo: NAM TRAN

The promotion of science, technology and innovation is a major policy to demonstrate Vietnam’s responsibility to the international community in the current context of deep international integration.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh

The technology of vaccine mRNA; Needle-mechanical frame materials (MOFs); Organic electronic materials that function like human skin and research that help prevent HIV transmission and reduce the burden of AIDS were honored at the first VinFuture Awards.

Inspire scientific research

The 3 million USD political prize was awarded to three scientists Katalin Kariko, Drew Weissman (USA) and Pieter Cullis (Canada) with mRNA technology, paving the way to create vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

Accordingly, the technology of using modified mRNA, wrapped in lipid nanoparticles, helps prevent the immune system from reacting to the mRNA when it is introduced into the body and does not cause cytokine reactions, does not cause toxicity or side effects.

Building on Kariko and Weissman’s discovery and Cullis’ creation of lipid nanoparticles, pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna have been able to produce effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time. .

Along with the main prize are 3 special prizes, each worth US$500,000 for research scientists in new fields; female scientists and scientists from developing countries.

The special prize category for “Scientist researching new fields” was awarded to Professor Omar Yaghi (USA) for his pioneering work in discovering MOFs.

MOFs are a new class of materials consisting of charged organic bonds and metal ions, with permanent porosity, impressive stability over large surface areas. With adjustable pore sizes forming a 3D network, allowing for the absorption and storage of gas and water molecules, MOFs provide a solution for capturing, storing, separating and controlling the chemical composition of many gases and molecules, capable of cleaning the environment, providing a cleaner atmosphere, energy source and water source.

The second special prize for “Female Scientist” was awarded to Professor Zhenan Bao (USA) for her research on organic electronic materials with properties of human skin. This is an organic material that allows electronic devices to become part of the human body with the ability to stretch, heal and biodegrade.

The above functions are very useful in smart healthcare diagnosis and treatment, and can be applied to wearable and implantable electronic devices, bringing a more fulfilling life experience to millions of people. disabled people around the world today, as well as creating medical breakthroughs in the future.

The special prize for “Scientist from developing countries” went to the husband and wife of two scientists from South Africa, Professor Salim Abdool Karim and Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, for their research that helps prevent the risk of danger. HIV transmission and reduce the burden of AIDS. The research of Professor Karim and his wife has been recognized by UNAIDS and WHO as an important scientific breakthrough, having a great impact on efforts to prevent pandemics of the century in Africa and around the world.

On behalf of the winners, Professor Katalin Kariko shared: “We are very honored to be selected as the winners of the VinFuture main prize. As scientists, we conduct research every day in our laboratory. experiment and hope that one day in my life my research achievements will be of common benefit to many people… We hope that our scientific adventures will inspire others. the next generation of researchers, so that their contributions will advance mankind’s scientific knowledge, care for and improve people’s lives.”

Honoring scientific research for humanity - Photo 3.

Mr and Mrs. Pham Nhat Vuong and Pham Thu Huong present flowers to the award board – Photo: N. TRU

Millions of people benefit

Speaking at the award ceremony taking place on the evening of January 20 at the Hanoi Opera House, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized: “Today, we honor award-winning works to honor scientific values. Science contributes to humanity, honoring scientists who have researched day and night with outstanding intelligence, enthusiastic hearts and aspiration to contribute to humanity. And today we also recognize and appreciate those Entrepreneur with the desire to converge scientists is to dedicate the best values ​​to humanity…

Here I want to emphasize that thanks to the ideas and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs, we have organized this program…

The mission of the VinFuture Prize is to encourage and honor scientists with outstanding research works of high application, creating a sustainable living environment for future generations. Millions of people around the world can benefit from the scientific works being named today. And, science and technology’s spirit of service to humanity without borders will cheer millions of researchers on our earth.”

The Prime Minister highly appreciated and recognized Vingroup for its positive contributions to the community and society in recent years; welcomed the efforts of VinFuture Foundation – a non-profit fund founded by the chairman of Vingroup and his wife to honor the value of science and technology on a global scale.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that in Vietnam, the development of science and technology is identified as a top national policy and a strategic breakthrough for socio-economic development. The State is promoting the design of mechanisms and policies to concretize the Party’s line, promote the mobilization of innovation resources for businesses, society and people to participate, bringing science and technology to the real world. become an important goal and driving force for the development of the country. Each citizen is the subject, implementer and beneficiary of innovation policy.

Honoring scientific research for humanity - Photo 4.

Many activities within the framework of VinFuture Science Week have attracted the attention of Vietnamese scientists. In the photo: interacting with the award committee, the VinFuture preliminary panel – Photo: N.TR.

One of the most valuable awards in the world

VinFuture Fund is a non-profit fund founded by the chairman of Vingroup – Mr. Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife – Ms. Pham Thu Huong.

The Foundation is committed to the mission of honoring and supporting scientific research and groundbreaking technological inventions that have contributed or have the potential to contribute to a better life for millions of people on earth, while creating a sustainable living environment for future generations.

Right from the first season, VinFuture has attracted strong interest from the world community of scientists with more than 1,200 registrations from 654 leading universities, 51 famous research institutes and 42 welding institutes. National Science Forestry with global prestige. The award received 599 projects in competition, of which nearly 100 projects came from scientists in the top 2% of the world’s most cited scientists. Female scientists also had an impressive presence with 34.3% of the total applicants.

Motivation for Vietnamese scientists

* Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Thi Kim Phung (Director of the Research Center for Refining and Petrochemical Technology, University of Science and Technology – Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City):

VinFuture is an international science award, creating prestige and reputation for Vietnam. A Vietnamese enterprise that has won this award shows at least an interest in science and scientific development at the world level. VinFuture also went to the University of Technology (National University of Ho Chi Minh City) to introduce this award, but I do not think I am qualified enough, because this is a world award. Looking through the award criteria, I see that the great scientists in the world deserve more awards. While domestic scientists know those criteria to aim for is also a good thing. However, if possible, the VinFuture Prize should have more categories with different criteria so that domestic scientists can meet.

* Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Hiep (Dean of Biomedical Engineering Faculty of International University – Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City):

In my opinion, a Vietnamese enterprise that organizes a world-class science award like VinFuture will attract the attention of world academia about Vietnam. However, the prize range is too large, not becoming the “playground” of domestic scientists. If any scientists in the country were awarded an award, that would be great. I myself applied for the award but failed. I think VinFuture should have a side prize for domestic scientists, maybe even a small prize, or consider funding for a specific research project, but that will be the driving force. large for domestic researchers.

* Student Le Bao Long (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, first prize in Eureka Competition 2021):

Usually, awards in science and engineering will contribute to spurring the passion of young people, especially students who love research. Sometimes young people will look at the award-winning works of scientists in major awards to refer to their future development direction. Therefore, I think that major awards should encourage and promote works with creativity and contribution. Because as mentioned above, the big prizes will often be contagious and will be watched and learned by many young people.


What did the international media say?

Reporting on the VinFuture award, Taiwan’s Taiwan News newspaper ran the headline: “VinFuture Awards Week – the convergence of global scientific quintessence”.

Meanwhile, Tech Times in the US writes that the VinFuture Foundation – set up to award the VinFuture global annual science and technology prize – “honores outstanding minds in science to create meaningful changes.” meaning in Vietnam”. TechBullion in the UK writes: “The VinFuture Foundation inspires and nurtures Vietnam’s future scientists”.

Euronews in France also reported on the event with the headline: “Watch live: VinFuture Awards outline vision for a brighter future”. Euronews says the VinFuture Awards’ vision is to promote meaningful change in people’s daily lives and support the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

“This award aims to encourage technological innovation, awarding the main prize of USD 3 million for ground-breaking research and technological innovations that positively improve people’s quality of life and create a better world. a fairer and more sustainable world for future generations,” wrote Euro News.

Many sites such as News Direct, Yahoo Finance, Taiwan News, ET Net… also posted the headline: “VinFuture’s mission has touched people’s hearts”.



Leave a Comment