Tencent founder and CEO Ma Huateng (Pony Ma) is joining the Breakthrough Prize, sometimes referred to as “the Oscars of Science,” as a founding sponsor. He joins the likes of co-sponsors Sergey Brin of Google, Yuri Milner of DST Global, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe and others.
“Fundamental science is the bedrock of technological advancement,” Ma said in a statement. “I believe the Breakthrough Prize can reinforce the bridge within the global community of researchers and mathematicians, facilitating mutual sharing between the East and West. In physics, life sciences or mathematics, the international science community is bringing the world closer together.”
Breakthrough honors researchers in the categories of life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics. Since 2012, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded nearly $200 million to researchers in those three fields. Recipients of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize will be announced this Sunday, December 3.
“Since its inception just five years ago, the Breakthrough Prize has seen considerable growth,” Milner said in a statement. “Now with Pony Ma joining us as a sponsor, we have the opportunity to take that growth to the next level. With this support, we would hope to see more nominations from Chinese scientists in the years ahead, along with greater visibility for the Breakthrough Prize among Chinese scientists at all stages of their careers.”