Max-Planck-Gesellschaft receives 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation
Foundation recognizes the German research organisation's intensive efforts in strengthening international cooperation
This year, the Max Planck Society was honoured for its dedication to international cooperation, following in the footsteps of renowned institutions such as the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement (winners of 2012); the World Health Organisation (winners of 2009); or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (winners of 2006). In its statement the jury applauded "the European vocation of the Society, its interdisciplinary approach and the close cooperation among research centres and universities around the world".
Alongside the Max Planck Society's scientific excellence, the Foundation's jury also praised the organisation's international advancement of young researchers through its more than 40 Partner Groups worldwide, which support highly-qualified young researchers in setting up their own scientific research groups in their home countries.
The President of the Max Planck Society, Peter Gruss, expressed his delight about the award: "International involvement has a long tradition in the Max Planck Society and has become increasingly important in the past few years. Science always builds bridges. Through the exchange of young researchers and scientists, we aim to foster understanding for the culture and concerns of other countries. And we lay the foundations for a scientific collaboration across borders, without which the major problems of humanity cannot be resolved. This prestigious prize is a wonderful recognition of the work of all Max Planck researchers and their partners worldwide." In recent years, Gruss has set new impulses for international cooperation through institutes abroad and instruments such as the Max Planck Centers.
Since 1981, the Prince of Asturias Foundation has presented the Prince of Asturias Awards once a year in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, in presence of the Spanish heir to the throne, Felipe, Prince of Asturias (and since 2004 his wife, Doña Letizia). The aim of the Foundation is to contribute to encouraging and promoting scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage.
Awards are presented in the eight categories Arts, Literature and Humanities, Social Sciences, Communication, Concord, International Cooperation, Technical and Scientific Research, Sport and International Cooperation). In 2006, Max Planck scientist Juan Ignacio Cirac received the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.