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$15 Million Annual Awards For Innovation In Life Sciences From Breakthrough Prizes

Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize
Breakthrough Prize

Breakthrough Prizes awards $15 Million annually to developers,  researchers and individuals who are promoting Innovation In Life Sciences.

Their committee, a group of technology leaders including Zuckerberg (Facebook), Brin (Google), Wojcicki (23andMe) and Yuri Milner (Russian Entrepreneur), will select 5 recipients each year for individual prizes of $3 Million.

From the Breakthrough Prize website :

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (BPLS) is founded by Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri Milner to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.

The prize is administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

These prizes will be awarded for past achievements in the field of life sciences, with the aim of providing the recipients with more freedom and opportunity to pursue even greater future accomplishments.

These founders are following the model of the Nobel Prize, the X-Prize and others that have worked to promote research and development through awards and prizes.  Mr. Milner had told the Wall Street Journal that:

Everyone agreed that motivating young scientists to stay in science, and not necessarily switch to areas that are better monetized, is one of the top priorities.

A recent count of the various prizes providing million dollar awards now offered by foundations, companies and wealthy individuals is in the dozens. Each of these is designed to promote a particular idea, technology or cure that is specifically  important to the sponsor and might not otherwise receive attention if not for the prize.

Another high tech billionaire, Patrick Soon-Shiong, promotes research in technology and medicine through annual prizes and recognition.

See Related Article – 2012 Innovation Awards

The 2013 inaugural 11 recipients, receiving $3 Million each for Groundbreaking Achievements in Life Science Research, of the Breakthrough Prize are:

  • Cornelia I. Bargmann
  • David Botstein
  • Lewis C. Cantley
  • Hans Clevers
  • Napoleone Ferrara
  • Titia de Lange
  • Eric S. Lander
  • Charles L. Sawyers
  • Bert Vogelstein
  • Robert A. Weinberg
  • Shinya Yamanaka

We look forward to their continued contributions in the Life Sciences field and congratulate them on this achievement.

(Photo Credit – Breakthrough Prizes)

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