Worldfish Center honored as 2005 Tech Museum Awards Laureate

09/22/05

Top five finalists to share $250,000 prize for applying technology

Penang, Malaysia -- September 22, 2005 -- Today, the WorldFish Center was named a 2005 Tech Museum Awards Laureate. The Tech Museum of Innovation, located in San Jose, California, announced 25 Laureates for the prestigious awards program which honors individuals, for-profit, public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world.

At a black tie awards gala on November 9, Silicon Valley leaders and representatives from partners, the United Nations Development Programme, The World Bank Institute, and Santa Clara University, will honor all 25 for their pioneering work in developing technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health. Five of these Laureates will share a $250,000 cash prize.

The WorldFish Center has been named a Laureate for the Accenture Economic Development Award for its development of an improved strain of farmed tilapia, popularly known as 'GIFT'. "We are delighted to have been chosen as a Laureate for this prestigious award in recognition of more than ten years of research carried out by WorldFish and its partners in the Philippines, Malaysia and Norway", states Dr Stephen J. Hall, Director General of the WorldFish Center. "The GIFT tilapia strain is especially suited to the needs of resource poor farmers and consumers, and is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger in developing countries," he added.

The GIFT (genetically improved farmed tilapia) technology is the first attempt to apply sound animal breeding and genetics principles to the improvement of tropical food fish, in particular the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). It has culminated in a hardy, disease resistant species with dramatically improved growth rates and productivity even in aquaculture systems with poor water quality. The GIFT technology has also been applied to other aquatic animal species.

An esteemed panel of judges considered more than 300 applications from 64 countries. The 25 Tech Awards Laureates for 2005 come from Brazil, Canada, Cuba, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their work impacts people in 43 countries around the globe.

"The Tech Museum Awards were founded to shine a spotlight on the innovative work of those who dedicate their lives to using technology to help others," said The Tech's President Meredith Taylor. "By celebrating the accomplishments of our Laureates, we can encourage others to become social entrepreneurs who leverage technology to make the world safer, healthier, and more equitable."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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