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.