Yuri Milner is a businessman, physicist, and philanthropist who is the founder of DST Global and an author of Eureka Manifesto. He is also the most significant investor in Facebook, Zynga, and Twitter, among other companies. Mr. Milner has become one of the leading international technology investors worldwide. He is one of the most vocal supporters of research and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
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Seed money for the DST Global investment fund came from Mr. Milner’s personal wealth of $4 billion, which was unlocked by the economic reform in following the collapse of Soviet Communism. Following his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at Princeton and a post-doctoral period at Stanford University, he entered scientific research and made a fortune through his businesses.
In June 2013, Mr. Milner announced the completion of the Theoretical Physics Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. TPL will have $300 million to spend on research in the next three years and has committed $1.5 billion to date. It will be funded by a combination of private and public funding and will attract top researchers worldwide.
The lab is open to researchers who have no other resources but their talent, curiosity, dedication, and motivation. Mr. Milner is convinced that this lab will help create a new generation of physicists and others who will work toward the common goal of solving some of physics’ most important questions. The breakthrough prize announced the initiative on 1 March 2013 and will allow scientists to collaborate with the lab. The DST Global Foundation will make all of its scientific results open to the public.
The Berkeley Lab for Advanced Scientific Research was established in 1962 as an independent research facility under the University of California’s authority. It was named one of six national laboratories by the Energy Department and is located on 350 acres in Berkeley, California. They believe that the only way to get together scientists and engineers, who are often competing for limited resources, is not by competing with them.