Wed, Dec 26, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Scientists share science and technology award

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Premier William Lai applauds at a conferral ceremony for the Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Contribution in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday presented the Executive Yuan Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Contribution to two scientists, one for his work on creating materials from LCDs that can absorb heavy metals and the other for his development of a targeted cancer therapy and dengue fever antibodies.

Presented annually since 1976, the nation’s highest technology award was this year shared by Hung Huan-yi (洪煥毅), deputy section chief of the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, and Wu Han-chung (吳漢忠), a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology.

Each recipient is to receive a prize of NT$1 million (US$32,457), the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

Hung was recognized for his technique to convert glass removed from LCDs into metal-absorbent materials, which cuts down on the amount of discarded panels and decreases the contamination of water by heavy metals, the ministry said, adding that Hung’s technical transfers have yielded revenue of more than NT$700 million.

Had they been available 20 years ago, Hung said that his techniques could have saved some of the nation’s farmland and rivers from becoming polluted with industrial waste.

Presenting the award at a ceremony in Taipei, Lai said that the techniques have alleviated an environmental problem while establishing a new industry that can help the economy grow.

Hung’s techniques can also be used with worn solar panels, a problem of increasing relevance as the government promotes solar power installations, Lai added.

Lai also recognized Wu for his scientific breakthroughs.

“Seeing the pain of cancer patients motivated me to develop antibodies that attack cancer cells like cruise missiles,” Wu said.

Wu has licensed some of his patented techniques to biotechnology firms, resulting in revenue of more than NT$250 million, the ministry said.

With the threat posed by African swine fever, Lai said that he hoped Wu might develop a vaccine against the fatal disease, which has no cure or vaccine.

To spark additional discoveries, the Executive Yuan has increased its technology budget by 5.12 percent, with next year’s funding to exceed NT$100 billion, Lai added.

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