Press Release

2020 CH Biotech Innovation Awards Announced with Record Prize Pool


CH Biotech (TWSE: 6534) today held the 2020 CH Biotech Innovation Award ceremony, giving out a NT$200,000 scholarship to each first prize winner. In total, there were 17 prizes and more than NT$1 million for scholarships, a record for the agricultural biotech (agritech) industry.
 
In its second iteration, the Award included Basic Theory and Practical Innovation categories to balance the development of theory and practice. The first prize in the Basic Theory category was given to Zheng-gang Tang, a PhD student in the Entomology Graduate School of National Taiwan University (NTU), and the first prize in the Practical Innovation category was awarded to a team of two, Shu-Chun Li, a PhD student at the Institute of Biotechnology of NTU, and I-Che Ou, a PhD student at the Electrical Engineering Department of Chiao Tung University. The top winners in each category received a NT$200,000 scholarship, the highest for Taiwan's agritech industry.
 
Huu-Sheng Lu, director of the College of BioResources and Agriculture of NTU, led the judging panel this year. He noted that the first CH Biotech Award was created because there was nothing similar in Taiwan. As a trial run in 2019, the competition accepted applications only from NTU students in one of the life sciences or agriculture, and it had a prize pool of NT$500,000.
 
Based on this success, CH Biotech expanded the competition this year to include students of agritech from universities across Taiwan. The result was a highly intense competition, with a total of 38 entries from 24 universities fighting for the top prizes. All entries were carefully screened, and the applicants underwent interviews.
 
Lu pointed out that in addition to the four top honors for the Basic Theory and Practical Innovation categories, distinctions and citations were awarded, with respective scholarships of NT$20,000 and NT$10,000. In total, the CH Biotech Innovation Award gave out 17 prizes and scholarships worth NT$1.07 million, both a record for Taiwan's agritech industry.
 
While the prize money was an incentive, the CH Biotech Award aims to take the initiative in encouraging students in agritech, and even the life sciences, Lu explained. In contrast, the large number of electrical engineering, computer science, and technology companies means that such industries have many ways to encourage aspiring students and researchers. However, agritech and the life sciences are less competitive. Students have fewer incentives and, after graduating, face narrower career paths given the still nascent size of these industries. Lu emphasized the significance of the CH Biotech Innovation Award, saying it will boost the confidence of agritech students and play a key role in further developing talents.
 
In its two iterations, the CH Biotech Award has offered a total prize fund of over NT$1.57 million. CH Biotech was honored with a Silver Award by the Ministry of Education for its efforts in encouraging and nurturing agritech students. The award was given by Lu, on behalf of the ministry, to CH Biotech chairman Chen-pang Wu.