The Singapore Prize – Launched in Support of the SG50 Celebrations

The Singapore prize is a biennial award in the Republic of Singapore to recognise outstanding published works in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. The prize offers 12 top prizes of up to $10,000 for fiction, non-fiction and poetry in each language. The prize was launched in support of the SG50 celebrations and was mooted by Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow at NUS Asia Research Institute and current jury chair. It aims to stimulate engagement with Singapore’s history, make the nuances of history more accessible and generate a shared imagination, NUS said.

The winner of the 2023 Singapore Water Prize was announced at a star-studded ceremony at Mediacorp’s Victoria Theatre on Tuesday (7 November). Accion Andina, GRST, S4S Technologies, WildAid Marine Programme and Boomitra were named as winners at the event, which was held in partnership with the Earthshot Prize.

Earthshot is the new global challenge to tackle climate change with urgency, inspired by President John F Kennedy’s 1961 “moonshot” speech that challenged Americans to reach the moon within a decade. The challenge has been renamed “Earthshot Prize” by the Royal Foundation. The heir to the British throne, Prince William, attended the awards with his wife, actress Meghan Markle, and his mother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. He wore a 10-year-old dark green blazer by Alexander McQueen. The finalists and presenters walked the red carpet, which was shaded green, to highlight sustainability.

The judging panel for the 2023 Singapore Water Prize will be announced in January. It will include distinguished individuals from science, business and public service from around the world. The prestigious prize will reward the most innovative use of water data, in the form of new insights or solutions, to address the pressing water challenges facing society.

Singapore has emerged as a global leader in the water sector. Its pioneering Water Management Programme, which is the first of its kind, was set up in 2002 to tackle the country’s growing water challenges and achieve environmental sustainability.

It has since become the model for a similar national initiative in other countries.

The winner of the 2023 Singapore Water Prize, Prof Medema, is the first person from outside of the US to win the award. He was honoured for the innovative use of wastewater-based epidemiology processes as an early warning system to monitor trends in COVID-19 circulation during the pandemic. His work tightened the links between the water and health sectors. It also helped to accelerate the response and implementation of public health interventions that benefited millions of people worldwide. This was done with collaborations between the NEA’s Environmental Health Institute, national water agency PUB and home team science and technology agencies HTX and HTX-Water. This helped to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on societies worldwide. It is a tribute to the dedication of many public and private sector partners in Singapore and beyond, who acted swiftly during the pandemic to protect their communities. It also highlighted the importance of developing a strong network of partnerships in tackling urban water challenges.