Canadian magazine highlights high cash value of Tang Prize (Focus Taiwan)

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier, 2016 Tang Prize Laureate in Biopharmaceutical Science
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Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) A Canada-based science magazine has listed the Tang Prize, founded by Taiwanese tycoon Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), as one of the cash awards that is higher than the Nobel Prize in the field of biomedicine.

In a report published Oct. 5, The Scientist magazine said that while the Nobel Prize may be the most highly recognized, it is not the biggest in terms of the cash prize to individual winners of biomedical awards.

The annual Nobel Prize has been set this year at 9 million Swedish kronor (US$1.12 million) per full award, while the Tang Prize awards a total NT$50 million (US$1.7 million) every two years in each of four categories, including biopharmaceutical science, the magazine noted.

The Tang Prize Foundation, which was established in 2012 by Taiwanese billionaire Yin with an endowment of US$102 million, usually awards the prize to either an institution or individual in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of law.

The Canadian online magazine listed several other prizes that it described as heavyweights in the field of life sciences, including the Fresenius Research Prize, which awards 4 million euros (US$4.69 million) every four years to the winner for research, and 500,000 euros for his or her personal use.

The 2016 Tang prize winners in the biopharmaceutical science category were Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Feng Zhang of MIT, for their development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique. 

(By Evelyn Kao)