VinFuture announces criteria for $3-million prize

By Quynh Chi - Feb 05, 2021 | 10:43 AM GMT+7

TheLEADEROn February 3, 2021, the VinFuture Foundation announces the VinFuture Prize’s nomination criteria which put the impact on millions of people in the past or next ten years at the core. The VinFuture Prize is officially open for nominations until June 7, 2021.

The nomination criteria have been developed and agreed by the Prize Council, which comprises 11 world-renowned scientists. There are nine key eligibility criteria for the Grand Prize and the three Special Prizes. There are further criteria for each prize category.

In the context of the global vision for the VinFuture Foundation, the prizes will be awarded for fundamental advances in science and engineering that align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, including eradicating poverty and hunger, enhancing health and quality of life, promoting access to quality education, clean water, and renewable energy, reducing inequality or addressing climate change.

What makes the VinFuture Prize’s nomination criteria unique is the requirement for clear evidence of impact on millions of people in the past or next ten years. Breakthroughs in science must result in positive impacts for humankind on a global scale. This is an integral criterion, consistent with the mission of "creating meaningful change in the everyday lives of millions of people by promoting breakthrough scientific research and technological innovations” that VinFuture has set forth.

The VinFuture Prize calls for nomination to be submitted by eligible nominators including recognized organizations such as universities, research institutes, national academies of sciences, networks, professional associations, technology and industrial corporates or businesses, incubators, as well as prominent individuals in relevant fields.

VinFuture to announce nomination criteria and officially launch the call for nomination
On January 20th, 2021, the Inaugural Prize Council Meeting took place. It was agreed that nominations will be sought from all nations.
VinFuture to announce nomination criteria and officially launch the call for nomination 1
Members of VinFuture Prize Council and VinFuture Pre-screening Committee gathered at Vietnam meeting point to agree on the nomination criteria.

Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend, chair of the VinFuture Prize Council commented, “We need cooperation on a global scale to tackle the global challenges we now face, such as infectious diseases, public health, and climate change. For these, we now recognize that science and technology must deliver benefits to all peoples and all nations. The VinFuture prizes will recognize those whose brilliant science or engineering can have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people across the planet”. 

Concurrent with the release of the nomination criteria, the VinFuture Prize has officially opened its call for nominations worldwide from February 3rd, 2021 to June 7th, 2021. VinFuture Foundation’s founder Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of Vingroup remarked, “Apart from recognizing exceptional scientists worldwide, VinFuture wishes to promote and bring research work and inventions into life for the betterment of humankind. I hope that the VinFuture Prize can discover and recognize the most deserving scientists and inventors as well as projects that bring about great values to millions of people.”

The VinFuture Foundation and VinFuture Prize were introduced on December 20, 2020. As an annual global prize for science and technology, VinFuture Prize is one of the most valuable prizes to date with its total prize value of VND104.5 billion (equivalent to $4.5 million).

Its VND70 billion Grand Prize (equivalent to $3 million) will be awarded to those whose groundbreaking research and technological inventions proven to possibly better the life of humankind and foster a sustainable living environment for future generations. Three special prizes, each at 11.5 billion (equivalent to $500,000) will be awarded to innovators from developing countries; female innovators, and innovators with outstanding achievements in emerging fields.

The VinFuture Laureates are selected by an independent Prize Council - a global and diverse team of distinguished individuals from academia, research, and industry, all of whom are globally renowned for their achievements and contribution in the field of science, technology, and industry in advancing human progress.

On January 20th, 2021, the Inaugural Prize Council Meeting took place. It was agreed that nominations will be sought from all nations, as set out in After the meeting, there have been more than 200 scientists and professors from the recognized universities and research institutes from 20 countries of six continents showing their interest in becoming official nominators for the Prize. 

Nominators are from different countries ranging from Algeria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Ghana, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, to the United States. Nominators also come from such universities as Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Tsinghua University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, or Yale University to name just a few.

The laureates will be announced in December 2021 and the official award ceremony will be held in Vietnam in January 2022.

Nine major nomination criteria of the VinFuture Prize:

1. There should be clear evidence, or potential, for an end-product or service based on the solution, which has an everyday practical application;

2. Solutions should have already benefited millions of people in the past 10 years for the Grand Prize, or have the potential to benefit millions of people in the next 10 years for the Special Prizes;

3. Solutions should be aligned with one or more of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals;

4. Solutions must be scientifically proven (i.e., there should be clear evidence of passing relevant scientific trials, and in the case of research, it must be empirically proven or widely reviewed);

5. Open to researchers or inventors who were involved in developing the underlying solutions, and not entrepreneurs or corporates who helped in the commercialization/diffusion of the technology;

6. End-products of the research should benefit people globally, including those from developing and less developed countries, as well as lower-income and disadvantaged communities;

7. Open to individuals or teams of researchers/inventors;

8. Preference for nominees in the active stages of their careers;

9. Same individual/team can be nominated for one or more of the VinFuture Special Prizes if eligible.

The call for nomination is available at: