Science and technology awards highlight excellence across many fields

A total of 271 people and projects won Shanghai science and technology awards, the city's highest honor for science and technology achievements, on March 23.
Ti Gong

The annual science and technology awards were held at Shanghai Exhibition Center on March 23, 2018.

A total of 271 people and projects won Shanghai science and technology awards, the city’s highest honor for science and technology achievements, on March 23.

The top prize went to Lin Guoqiang and Wang Xi, who both persevered in their efforts and contributions through decades of fundamental research in their fields.

Lin Guoqiang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who graduated from Shanghai University, won the top prize for his work in chiral chemistry research and applications.

“Our left hand and right hand form a mirror image, but they can never be identical to one another.” Lin explained of his work. “Consider it a similar case in chemistry with two molecules.”

Starting from these tiny molecules, Lin broke through bottlenecks in medication for cancer and high blood pressure. The sales of these two medicines have so far exceeded 7 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion).

His students and colleagues said apart from his research, Lin has been a model for juniors, raising funds every year for needy students.

“He’s always the first one to arrive at the office and lab,” said one of his former students, Li Rong, who is now a senior engineer. “Through years he has been standing at the front line of fundamental research.”

The other top award winner, Wang Xi, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been dwelling in integrated circuit material research for years. The silicon material he developed has aided a huge leapfrog in the development of China’s microelectronics industry.

Swiss Nobel prize winning chemist Kurt Wüthrich, who has been a visiting professor of Shanghai Tech University since 2013, won an international science cooperation award for his dedication to deepening international exchange and cooperation between China and other countries in the medical chemistry domain. He built up the university’s first nuclear magnetism laboratory.

Many projects awarded have marked a whole new era in the science and technology spaces of not only Shanghai, but the entire country.

The C919, China's first domestically developed narrow-body aircraft, soared high in the sky last year. Jiang Liping and her team from Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company utilized a series of new techniques which vastly cut the cost of assembling the plane.

Meanwhile, health projects were also among the leading awards. Wang Han, from Shanghai General Hospital, managed to develop more advanced radiography that increased the accuracy rate of cancer diagnoses from 71 to 95 percent.

The market played a vital role in the city’s scientific and technological innovation and development, as 358 companies were involved among all the projects and people who won awards, accounting for 47.8 percent of the total.

Lin pointed out it would be impossible for him and his team to achieve what they have without the cooperation and support of private enterprises.

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