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HANOI, Vietnam, Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The VinFuture Award Board today announced the names of the 2022 VinFuture Award winners, scientists whose research projects constitute outstanding scientific achievements that will positively impact the lives of thousands of Millions of people on Earth, now and in the future. They represent great advances in science and technology that will reshape all aspects of life and promote the sustainable development of humanity.
After receiving 970 entries from more than 70 countries on six continents, the four most outstanding scientific papers were chosen as winners, in keeping with this season's motto "Revive and Reshape".
These include: advances that have made global network technology a reality; the prediction of the three-dimensional structure of proteins using the AlphaFold 2 AI system; the isolation of the Sub1A gene that facilitated the development of submergence-tolerant rice; and a low-cost filtration system to remove arsenic and other heavy metals from groundwater.
The Grand Prize, valued at $3 million, was awarded to Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, Dr Vinton Gray Cerf, Dr Emmanuel Desurvire, Dr Robert Elliot Kahn and Professor Sir David Neil Payne for their breakthrough achievements. in making global network technology a reality, forever changing the way we live, communicate and work and laying the foundations for modern socio-economic progress and future technological innovations.
Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, wrote the first web browser, and led the design and establishment of three fundamental Internet standards: HTML, HTTP, and URL. These standards have enabled the seamless sharing and use of information resources throughout the global Internet.
Dr. Vinton Gray Cerf and Dr. Robert Elliot Kahn led the design and implementation of the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), which are the foundation of how today's Internet works.
Today's global network technology is based on fiber optic communication, the development of which was made possible by the work of Sir David Neil Payne over five decades. His work on fiber design, optical amplifiers, specialty fibers, and high-power lasers and amplifiers, along with Emmanuel Desurvire's groundbreaking work on erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, made the worldwide transmission of the Internet possible. to its ability to repeatedly boost high-speed optical signals.
This pioneering research into global networking technology is the result of multiple layers of invention, enabling all types of information to be reliably communicated, transferred and shared at the speed of light. This has enabled real-time interaction, collaboration and co-creation between individuals and groups from around the world. The repercussions of these inventions are transcontinental and transoceanic. From fiber to home and business communications, they affect every aspect of our world, including society, government, the economy, security and defense.
In addition to the Grand Prize, three Special Prizes, each valued at $500,000, have been awarded to innovators in emerging fields, women innovators and innovators from developing countries.
The Special Award for "Outstanding Innovators in Emerging Fields" was awarded to Drs. Demis Hassabis and John Jumper for their pioneering work on AlphaFold 2, an artificial intelligence program that has revolutionized protein structure modeling, accelerating advances in biomedicine. , health and agriculture.
The problem of determining protein structures is critical to enabling a fundamental understanding of cellular processes, developing new drugs, proposing new synthetic biology, and numerous other applications.
Dr. Demis Hassabis envisioned a solution to this problem using deep learning, assembling the pioneering DeepMind team, in which Dr. John Jumper was the lead scientist. Together, they reduced what used to take years of work to mere hours, accelerating progress on some of the most important issues in biomedicine and healthcare, agriculture, sustainability and beyond. The team made a database of the structures of more than 200 million proteins publicly available, allowing the public to benefit from their work and helping thousands of scientists tackle problems around the world.
The Special Prize dedicated to "Innovative Women" was awarded to Professor Pamela Christine Ronald for her advances in the isolation of the Sub1A gene, which facilitated the development of submergence-tolerant rice varieties, helping to feed millions of people in the south and Southeast Asia. In this region of the world, four million tons of rice are lost each year due to floods, enough to feed 30 million people.
Professor Ronald and his team showed that expression of the single rice Sub1a gene is sufficient to confer tolerance to submergence. This discovery facilitated the development of new rice varieties by breeders at the International Rice Research Institute. The new Sub1 varieties have a 60% yield advantage over conventional varieties after flooding. New submergence-tolerant rice varieties are helping farmers in countries hard hit by flooding, which occurs with increasing duration and frequency in a changing climate.
The Special Prize dedicated to "Innovators from Developing Countries" was awarded to Professor Thalappil Pradeep for his development of a low-cost filtration system to remove arsenic and other heavy metals from groundwater, thereby helping hundreds of millions of people around the world who live with contaminated water to access clean water.
Drinking water is the most important factor for life and is essential for socio-economic development.
To mitigate the health hazards of consuming water contaminated with arsenic, iron and other metals, a longstanding problem especially in northern India, Professor Pradeep discovered affordable and sustainable nanomaterials that could be used to produce clean water. The arsenic and other materials removed by these materials do not impact the surrounding environment. This method, using simple designs, provides a very low-cost means of purifying groundwater to reach millions of affected households. In remote areas, this technology is even more advantageous because it does not require electricity.
Far exceeding the expectations of the Award Board in terms of the quantity, quality, applicability and practical impact of the nominations, the second season of the VinFuture Award and the VinFuture Award 2022 ceremony, in particular, have helped to affirm the position and Vietnam's scientific reputation in the eyes of the world scientific community. The laureates have developed innovative scientific projects and technologies focused on fostering significant change and bringing diverse and exceptional advances to humanity with the goal of building a prosperous, equitable and sustainable world.
The third cycle of the VinFuture Award has already begun, immediately following the conclusion of the 2022 VinFuture Award ceremony. Following the conclusion of the mission to revive and reshape, the 2023 VinFuture Award will aim to honor scientific and technological inventions or initiatives that contribute to building a "resilient and revolutionary" world. The VinFuture Award will officially open the call for nominations from 7:00 am (EST) on January 9 to 7:00 am (EST) on May 15, 2023.
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