SINGAPORE – A Singaporean scientist has become the first from the country to win an Asia-Pacific regional science prize. Nanyang Technological University professor Liu Zheng is a winner of the 2023 Apec Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (Aspire), which is aimed at encouraging young researchers to contribute to sustainable and inclusive scientific research. The NTU researcher has developed a cost-effective material that could be used for green hydrogen energy and semiconductor manufacturing.
The Aspire prize comes with a cash award of US$25,000, and will allow Prof Liu to collaborate with scientists from the 21 Apec member economies to further his work in this field. He said he felt “a great sense of achievement” for having his work recognised. “This is a huge milestone for me and the team as we continue to work towards our vision of making a difference in people’s lives through inclusive technology,” he told The Straits Times.
NTU is also one of the winners of this year’s inaugural Aspire International Scholarships for Young Women. The scholarships are part of the Aspire programme, which was launched in October to help encourage and support women from developing countries to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Each student receives a scholarship of S$20,000, while top scorers will also have the opportunity for internships at leading international companies in the field.
In the literary scene, an annual book prize has been started to recognise works that champion mindsets important to Singapore’s development. The Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize is administered by SUSS, and was established through a $1 million donation by Confucian scholar Alan Chan. SUSS said it aims to promote writing that advocates the values of “equality, religious harmony, meritocracy and pragmatism”.
The inaugural Singapore Poetry Prize was awarded on Thursday, with a cash prize of $20,000 and an engraved trophy. The competition was opened to both Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans and had a total of 63 entries. Its judges included poets Gwee Li Sui and Leong Liew Geok.
An annual book prize has been started to recognise local fiction and non-fiction works. The Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of the Book Prize is administered by SUSS and was established through a $1 million donation from Confucian scholar Alan Chan. The prize is a biennial award to recognise books in the island’s four main languages – Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. It will be awarded in 12 categories.
The Singapore Book Prize is now open to applications, with submissions closing on August 31. The Singapore Book Prize is the nation’s richest literary award, offering a sum of $30,000 in each category and will recognise authors across a range of genres. The winners will be announced in November. Those interested in entering can find out more information on the competition and apply here. There is a one-in-eleven chance of winning. The full list of finalists is available here. There are also other prizes on offer in the form of a shortlist and reader’s choice award.