A first for the UN body to award Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization Volcani Center the life sciences award.
• Volcani Center director said, This is a ‘great achievement for the state and underscores our contribution not just to science but to international cooperation for ensuring food security for future generations.’
By Danielle Roth-Avneri
The Agricultural Research Organization Volcani Center, a government-run institute in central Israel known for its groundbreaking discoveries, is among the three winners of the UNESCO Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences for 2017.
This marks the first time an Israeli organization or individual wins the prize, which “rewards the outstanding scientific research projects of individuals, institutions or other entities working in the life sciences that have led to an improvement in the quality of human life.”
In a statement announcing the three laureates, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said the Volcani Center “has successfully developed cutting-edge innovations and methodologies in agricultural research with practical applications as well as capacity-building programs to promote food security in arid, semi-arid and desert environments, advancing human well-being.”
The other two laureates are from Brazil and Portugal.
According to UNESCO’s statement, “Each of the three laureates will receive a statue made by the artist Leandro Mbomio Nsue, a diploma, and a check for $100,000.” The ceremony will take place in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea, on Dec. 4.
Volcani Center Director Eli Feinerman said the decision to award his organization the prize was a “great achievement for the state and underscores our contribution not just to science, agriculture and the environment, but also to regional and international cooperation for the sake of ensuring food security for future generations and for the sake of improving everyone’s well-being.”
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