Taiwan billionaire launches Asian 'Nobel prize' (Update)

January 28, 2013

One of Taiwan's richest men on Monday launched what has been widely touted as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and it is even more lucrative than the famed Swedish award.

Samuel Yin, head of the sprawling Ruentex business empire which has invested heavily in China, said that by donating Tw$3 billion ($101 million) for the Tang Prize he had fulfilled one of his biggest dreams.

"I hope that the prize will encourage more research that is beneficial to the world and humankind, promote Chinese culture and make the world a better place," he said in a statement released by the prize foundation.

The prize is named after China's Tang Dynasty (618-907), which is much admired by Yin, the foundation said.

The dynasty has inspired generation after generation with admiration for its vibrant characteristics of self-confidence and cosmopolitan inclusiveness, which are the qualities that the Tang Prize seeks to promote, it said.

Beginning in 2014 prizes will be awarded every two years in four different categories—sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and the "rule of law"—to individuals, regardless of nationality.

The winner in each category will receive Tw$50 million ($1.7 million), compared to the eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million) that comes with a Nobel Prize.

The Tang Prize will help raise Taiwan's profile in the international scientific community, the statement said.

Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.

Explore further: Smoot donates Nobel prize money to charity

Related Stories

Nobel chemistry prize to be announced in Stockholm

October 10, 2012

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will announce the winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday, capping this year's science awards before the Nobel spotlight moves to literature and peace.

Nobel Peace Prize to be announced in Oslo

October 12, 2012

(AP)—After vetting candidates for seven months, the Norwegian judges for the Nobel Peace Prize will reveal the winner of the coveted award on Friday, capping a week of Nobel Prize announcements.

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.