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Tang Prize designs narrowed to final 15

TAIPEI -- Fifteen submissions were selected Wednesday to enter the second and final round of a competition to design certificates for the winners of the Tang Prize — billed as the “Asian Nobel Prize.”

The competitors have been submitting their designs on paper but the 15 finalists will now have to actually make the certificates before the last round of judging on May 20, said the Tang Prize Foundation, which organized competition.

Tony Chang, chief adviser of Taiwan Design Center and head of the seven-member jury, said many of the designers are using unconventional materials such as acrylic, bamboo, gold foil and bronze to depict the significance of the prize.

The winning design will be announced at an award ceremony May 22 and the designer will take home a prize of NT$1 million (US$33,282).

A total of 245 designs have been submitted by Taiwanese students and professionals in the competition.

The designs have “blown our mind,” the jury said.

They include representations of the Chinese characters for “Tang Prize,” depictions of ancient fans, and various geology patterns that represent the four categories of the Tang Prize — sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, Sinology and rule of law.

Chang said at a press conference that the jury is looking for designs that incorporate innovation, knowledge of Asia and Chinese culture.

The evaluation standards include embodiment of humanities and culture (50 percent), innovation (20 percent), aesthetics (20 percent) and feasibility (10 percent), according to Chang.

The Tang Prize, established by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin in December 2012, seeks to honor top researchers in four fields.

This year's winners will be announced June 18 and the award ceremony will be held Sept. 18. Up to three winners will share a cash prize of NT$50 million in each of the four categories.

The prize takes its name from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), a period often considered the height of ancient Chinese civilization, characterized by liberal policies and robust cultural activity.

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