Read the full story from the University of Illinois.
Ting Lu, a professor of bioengineering at The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign received the 2021 Future Insight Prize. Established by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, the Future Insight Prize aims to stimulate innovative solutions to solve some of humanity’s greatest problems and to realize dreams for a better tomorrow in the areas of health, nutrition and energy. The prize comes with €1 million ($1.19 million) of research funding to incentivize winners whose work has enabled significant progress towards making this vision a reality.
This year, the theme of the Future Insight Prize is food generation with a target to convert non-edible biomass to edible biomass. Lu shared the prize with Stephen Techtmann, an associate professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University. The duo were presented with the prize by Mrs. Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research of Germany, and Dr. Belén Garijo, the Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, during the 2021 Future Insight Days conference. Lu and Techtmann are recognized for their work which uses microbes and chemicals to break down end-of-life plastics and transform them into edible food.