After amassing a $15 billion fortune from casinos, Hong Kong-based tycoon Lui Che Woo is turning vice into virtue. He wants to take on the same mission as Alfred Nobel: fighting poverty. Lui’s version isn’t quite as lofty, but he’s still trying to make the world a better place. His first step: the hk prize, a dinner-plate-sized trophy that rewards good works with a check twice as large as a Nobel Prize.
The prize is awarded annually to people who have made significant contributions to humanity. The hk prize has been given to individuals, groups and companies from various fields. Some of the winners are scientists who have helped to develop new medical treatments, while others have provided humanitarian services to those in need. In addition, some have also made outstanding achievements in the arts and culture.
In announcing the finalists for this year’s award, the HKAI’s jury said it had been impressed by “the creativity, innovation and dedication of the candidates.” The prize is one of Asia’s leading scientific awards. Applicants compete in six categories, and the winner is presented with a gold medallion and a monetary award of US$10,000. The winning entries are selected through a rigorous assessment process that includes a public nominations phase. A panel of judges evaluates each application on the basis of its technical and scientific merit.
The HKAI’s organizing committee has selected a total of 10 winners for this year’s awards. They include a young man using technology to assist homeless people and an artist who reinterprets human rights into fine art. The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony in November. The event will be held in Shanghai, the first time in three years that the hk prize has been awarded outside of Hong Kong.
China Daily Hong Kong Edition won four out of five awards in the news reporting category, including one grand award and two runner-up prizes. Its senior reporter, Kate Li Bingcun, won a top prize for her three-piece series on culture and the arts. The prize logo, expressed both in the design of the trophies and in the symbol on the hk prize logo itself, juxtaposes a pearl and a pierced jade amulet that has happy connotations in both Chinese and Western cultures.
The HKAI is the world’s oldest science and technology prize founded in 1931. It is the only science and technology prize that is awarded both in Hong Kong and in mainland China. In its 93-year history, the HKAI has rewarded more than 300 distinguished scientists and engineers. It is also the only science and technology prize that combines research and innovation with societal benefits. In addition to a monetary award, winners receive a medallion and a certificate. A special commemorative coin is also issued. The prize is sponsored by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. It is supported by a number of organizations, including the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the University of Hong Kong.