Worldfish Center honored as 2005 Tech Museum Awards Laureate

September 22, 2005

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."
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"The Tech Awards Laureates exhibit the same pioneering spirit that has inspired the world's greatest inventions and innovations," stated Jim Morgan, Chairman of presenting sponsor Applied Materials. "Their breakthrough technologies are helping to provide basic needs and infrastructure, and the ultimate promise of their work is its power to have a positive impact on individuals and society."

For more information on the awards and Laureates, visit http://www.techawards.org.

WorldFish Center
The WorldFish Center (www.worldfishcenter.org) is an international scientific research organization. Its mission is to reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. Most of its work is carried out in developing countries. WorldFish is one of 15 Future Harvest Centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (www.cgiar.org), a strategic alliance that mobilizes food and environmental science to benefit poor farmers worldwide.

Other partners instrumental in developing the GIFT technology and strains include:
National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Research Center/Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippines, Freshwater Aquaculture Center, Central Luzon State University, Philippines, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Institute of Aquaculture Research, Ltd. (AKVAFORSK), Norway, and Fisheries Research Institute, Department of Fisheries, Malaysia.

About The Tech Museum Awards
The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which finds that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Tech Awards were inaugurated in 2001, and have since recognized 100 Laureates for their pioneering work to benefit society through the use and/or development of new technologies.

The Tech Museum Award Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Silicon Valley leaders supporting The Tech Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials, Inc. and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation, and Knight Ridder.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.

Media contact:
Sharmini Blok, The WorldFish Center, 604 -626-1606: s.blok@cgiar.org
Tony Santos, The Tech Museum of Innovation, 408-795-6226; tsantos@thetech.org
Mike Barash, Ketchum Public Relations, 310-584-8362; michael.barash@ketchum.com

WorldFish Center

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