The inaugural Singapore Prize was awarded to a group of individuals and organisations in recognition of their collective commitment to promote social good. The prize is the brainchild of entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist Chan Chun, who founded the Changi Foundation for Children to support education, research and innovative projects that make the world a better place. The prize is a combination of cash, scholarships, and opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
This year, the winner of the coveted prize will be recognised for their work in the field of sustainable energy. Their project will accelerate the pace of solutions that can tackle climate change and help repair our planet. They will be invited to Singapore to meet with global leaders, businesses and investors to explore exciting new opportunities.
They will also join other winners from across the globe at the Earthshot Week, a series of special events in November that will bring together top scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to speed up their solutions and take them to scale. The week will also feature local activations for the public to engage with the prize winners and finalists.
A spokesman for the foundation said the winning initiatives are a “living proof that giving back is in our DNA”. The foundation received a record 315 nominations this year, up by 33 per cent from last year. These include projects focused on racial and religious harmony, helping at-risk youth, providing employment opportunities, supporting mental health and paediatric palliative care.
Several Singapore-based organisations made the list for their work in improving lives through a wide range of social causes, including helping at-risk youth, providing employment opportunities and supporting mental health. The organisers of the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) said that the number of nominations this year was a clear sign that giving is in the spirit of all Singaporeans.
NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow and former head of the NUS Department of History Kishore Mahbubani mooted the Singapore Prize in a Straits Times column. He wrote that nations are held together by a shared imagination, especially through the study of history.
This year, the prize drew more than 30 submissions in four languages. More than half of the shortlisted books were written for the first time, and more than a quarter are in a second language. This is the highest number of entries in the prize’s three-decade history.
The final shortlist will be announced in October, and a winner will be announced in January 2022. The top prize carries a cash award of S$50,000 and a commissioned trophy.
The winners will be honoured at a ceremony in November 2022. The prize is a joint initiative by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore University of Technology and Design. The prize is fully-funded for a PhD student, and comes with a living stipend, tuition fees, airfare and accommodation. The programme will run for a minimum of two years and is open to students from all over the world.