Max Planck Society wins Spanish international cooperation prize

Oviedo, Spain, Jun 12 (EFE).- Germany's Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, which comprises more than 80 scientific research institutes, was named Wednesday as this year's recipient of Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, the foundation that bestows these prizes announced.

In addition to its work in Germany, the Max Planck institutes participate in more than 2,000 cooperation projects with nearly 6,000 partners in more than 100 countries.

A total of 32 researchers with the Max Planck Society, founded in 1948 in Göttingen, Germany, and its precursor - the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, established in 1911 - have won the Nobel Prize.

The research results at the institutes that make up the Society are published annually in more than 13,000 scientific articles, books and reports.

The jury hailed "the European vocation of the Society, its interdisciplinary approach and the close cooperation among research centers and universities around the world with which the Max Planck network works, generating teams of highly qualified young scientists engaged in cutting-edge fields of research carried out worldwide."

The institutes that make up the Society - five of them abroad - conduct basic research for the benefit of society in fields such as the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

The Max Planck Society encompasses multiple disciplines in fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and astrophysics, Earth sciences and climate research.

The Society employs more than 5,300 scientists, many of whom work with the world's most prestigious laboratories on projects related to leading international space missions.

Previous winners of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation include the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (2012), the World Health Organization (2009) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2006).

The international cooperation prize is the sixth of eight Prince of Asturias Awards to be conferred thus far in 2013.

Earlier this year, the arts prize was awarded to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, the social sciences prize went to Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, and the communication and humanities award was bestowed on American photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The prize for technical and scientific research was awarded to physicists Peter Higgs and François Englert and the European Organization for Nuclear Research and the literature honor went to Spanish novelist Antonio Muñoz Molina.

Along with a cash prize of 50,000 euros (about $66,600) and a sculpture by Joan Miro, each award recipient gets a diploma and an insignia bearing the Prince of Asturias Foundation's coat of arms.

The prizes, which Spain's Crown Prince Felipe will hand out at a ceremony in the fall in the northern city of Oviedo, are regarded as the Ibero-American world's equivalent of the Nobels.