Move over, Nobel Prize. There’s some competition in the science honors space, and it’s serious.
Several billionaires — such as Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Sergey Brin, Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg and Digital Sky Technologies’ Yuri Milner — have launched the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which recently handed out prizes to 11 scientists.
Governments often are the main source of funding for basic research for medicine, but budget cuts in the U.S. and Europe could mean a pullback on that front. Thus, efforts like the Breakthrough Prize could prove very effective to keep up the innovation and encourage more people to seek out careers in research fields.
Plus, the Breakthrough Prizes are fairly lucrative, coming to $3 million vs. Nobel’s $1.27 million.
Said Zuckerberg: “But for me, this prize is really about the next generation, right? It’s about the students who are in college and grad school or in the labs, and are trying to figure out what they want to research and work on next. It’s about kids who are growing up and want to figure out what they want to be when they grow up and look to signals like this for inspiration.”
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.