The former prime minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland became on Wednesday the first person to receive the Tang award, which has been touted as the Asian version of the Nobel created by one of the richest men in Taiwan Samuel Yin.

Brundtland, 75, has won the award in the category of sustainable development ” for her innovation, leadership and implementation of sustainable development set out the scientific and technological challenges facing the global community to achieve a better balance between economic development, environmental integrity and social equity for the good of all humanity, “said Tang Prize Foundation in a statement.

The biennial award was established in 2012 by Taiwanese tycoon Samuel Yin, with a budget of 3,000 million Taiwan dollars. Awarded for the first time this year and covers four categories: Sustainable Development, Bio-pharmaceutical Science, Sinology and government law. The winners will be announced in this order on successive days between now and Saturday. Each will receive 40 million Taiwan dollars plus a research grant of up to 10 million Taiwan dollars to be used within five years. The amount exceeds eight million kronor of the original Nobel. The ceremony took place on September 18 in Taipei.

“I hope the prize initiate more research that benefits the world and the human being, promote Chinese culture and make the world a better place,” said Yin. According to Yuan T. Lee President of the Selection Committee, and in turn Nobel in chemistry in 1986 – the aim of the Tang awards  ” is not to compete with the Nobel but what is missing,” reports Agence France Presse.

Although Tang is inspired by European prize, its interests are different.” The Nobel was created over a century, and many of the problems facing the human being in the twenty-first century had not yet arisen,” said Chern Jenn-chuan, executive director of the Tang Foundation Award.

Gro Harlem Brundtland has been described by Lee as “Godmother” of sustainable development. The Norwegian policy established and led the World Commission on Environment and Development in the 1980s. The UN agency paved the way to the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, which later lead to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in 1997. She was prime minister of the Nordic country on three occasions between 1981 and 1996, from 1998 to 2003, she led the World Health Organization (WHO).

Tang laureates are selected by a committee of the Academia Sinica, the highest academic research organization in Taiwan, established in 1928 in mainland China by the then Nationalist government of the Kuomintang.

The award is named after the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), a period considered the highlight of classical Chinese civilization, which was characterized by the splendor of the arts, liberal policies, tolerance of different cultures and religions, and technological progress.” A golden age of cosmopolitan culture,” admired by Samuel Yin, the award that hopes to help ” create another golden age for humanity.”

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