Chair of the VinFuture Prize Council: Everyone will be surprised and convinced by the second season’s winning innovations.

As the second season of VinFuture Prize’s Award Ceremony draws closer, Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend – Chair of the VinFuture Prize Council – revealed for the first time the most outstanding works that will be honored and shared about the international influence of the Vietnamese-initiated global science and technology award.

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VinFuture is drawing international attention

 As the leader of the VinFuture Prize Council, what can you reveal about this year’s nominations?

VinFuture had a first season that received significant attention from the global scientific community, so it is not surprising that this year the Prize Council has had to “work harder”.

The number of nominations we received is much higher than last year, with 970 works in various fields, compared to nearly 600 in the first season. This is an impressive number, proving the immense interest from all over the world for the global science and technology prize from Vietnam.

The quality of this season’s nominations is also very remarkable. A wonderful thing to note is that many innovations are new even to us. I am really pleased!

– Which work impressed you the most, Professor?

I think surprises are always interesting. So let’s stay excited about the Award Ceremony, which is going to take place on December 20, 2022, in Hanoi.

However, one thing that I can confirm is that the works being honored are big leaps forward. Just like last year’s mRNA vaccine innovation, it will be ground-breaking, far-reaching research with inspirational stories behind it. I am sure everyone will be surprised and convinced by this victory.

– With nearly 1,000 high-quality nominations, how did you and other members of the Prize Council pick the best ones?

The process of choosing the best among all nominations has never been easy. This year’s season has a very meaningful theme – “Reviving and Reshaping”. It is like a guide to finding the innovations and creativity that humanity really needs on the path of solving pressing global issues.

We have worked very meticulously to ensure that it is truly groundbreaking research. But it’s also just the beginning. From our principles and specific criteria, we comprehensively assess the impacts of these breakthroughs. Another challenge is that the criteria must be customized to the specifics of each different field.

Fortunately, we have a Council of top scientists with extensive experience and highly effective works to select the most deserving ones for the Prize.

Scientific and technological collaboration for breakthrough achievements

– After the first season, what values ​​have VinFuture brought to science and the public?

I think VinFuture has been seen in a special and different way, which is to create a global connection, helping to accelerate science and technology’s progress.

Science and technology is the key to a sustainable future. Individual creativity is critical to solving global challenges. But many times, just due to the lack of connection, scientists failed to reach their destination. With its influence, VinFuture honors and promotes connections to create breakthrough achievements in science.

I want to take the Grand Prize of the first season as an example, which is a testament to VinFuture being one of the few science and technology awards with a comprehensive perspective, respecting and fully honoring the puzzle pieces behind each breakthrough innovation. The Covid-19 mRNA vaccine consists of two components, mRNAs and lipid nanoparticles. Two separate studies have been carried out for a long time, but it was not until last year that they were brought together in front of the public’s eye as a revolutionary product for all humanity.

That is also what VinFuture can do to break down barriers, encourage new discoveries and inspire future generations.

 How does VinFuture inspire, Professor?

When the Prize is announced, the world wants to know who the winners are and learn more about their stories. For young people who are contemplating career choices and aspire to achieve what they want in life, I think the laureates’ journey of discovery will bring especially inspiring stories.

People often say art is creative work. As a strong believer in research coming from curiosity and the urge to learn, I think science is also a creative process. VinFuture will inspire young people to see that although science is challenging, it is a process of creativity and discovery. Not only utilizing what is already available, with science and technology, but people are also inventing and creating a future – a better and more sustainable future for humanity.

Is that the reason behind your dedication and commitment to VinFuture?

Absolutely! Although freshly established, VinFuture’s global journey has proven to be truly professional and impressive.

There are many major awards internationally, but there are still no established categories for all scientific communities and the direct impact of science and technology to create a better world. VinFuture does not seek nominations to “groom” the award. VinFuture honors innovations and breakthrough inventions that bring changes to the world. The Prize’s mission and different criteria are also the reasons why I am glad to be with VinFuture.

– Thank you, Professor!

Prof. Richard Friend, Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge (UK), is currently the Chair of the VinFuture Prize Council. He is one of the most influential scientists globally, with more than 140 patents and over 195,000 citations in prestigious scientific publications in the world, and is the author/co-author of more than 1,100 scientific publications.

He was knighted by the British Royal Family to honor outstanding contributions to physics in 2003.

In 2010, the “father” of OLED technology received the prestigious Millennium Technology Prize for the development of plastic electronics. His OLED research has laid the foundation for the development of flat screens, scrollable screens, and moving screens.

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