(Yicai Global) Sept. 11 -- China announced winners of its Future Science Prize, hailed as the country's own version of the Nobel Prize, at a ceremony in Beijing on Saturday. Three Chinese scientists won the main prizes with each receiving USD1 million in prize money.
Prof. Shi Yigong at Tsinghua University received the life science award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the study of high-resolution structures of the eukaryotic RNA spliceosome, and molecular mechanisms.
Prof. Pan Jianwei, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, won the physical science award. Pan and his team successfully developed a secure intra-city and inter-city quantum communication network based on optical fiber and trusted-relay quantum key distribution technologies, as well as a practical intercontinental quantum communication system featuring satellite and free space quantum communication.
Prof. Xu Chenyang from the Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research was awarded the mathematics and computer science award. Xu has made profound contributions to algebraic geometry research and is recognized among geometricians in China and worldwide.
The prize is the first in the country to be sponsored by mainland entrepreneurs, including Pony Ma, chairman and chief executive of Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700], Robin Li, founder, chair and chief executive of Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU], and Ding Lei, founder, chair and CEO of NetEase Inc. [NASDAQ:NTES].
The annual prize is open to all nationalities, but eligible candidates must complete original research of long-term importance and major international influence to Greater China.
Winners of last year's first life science prize and physical science prizes were Prof. Dennis Lo from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Prof. Xue Qikun from Tsinghua University, respectively. The mathematics and computer science award was a new addition for this year's event.