A lithium-ion battery recycler and a program to end illegal wildlife trading are among the winners of this year’s Singapore prize, which promotes companies that develop innovative solutions for the planet’s environmental challenges. The five winners, announced at a ceremony in Singapore, will receive $1 million in funding to help scale their efforts, and access to the expertise of a global network of investors and mentors. Prince William, who hosted this year’s event, said that “the future of our planet is in our hands”.
The Singapore Prize’s organizers say it is one of the most influential prizes in Asia, with a growing global profile. Its focus on resonance reflects a changing world that is more connected and volatile than ever before. “Our mission is to showcase and celebrate the extraordinary creativity of Singaporeans, and to encourage new talent to flourish here and beyond,” says the foundation’s executive director, Jennifer Lee.
A total of 49 titles were shortlisted for this year’s prize, which comes with a $30,000 cash prize and a commissioned trophy. More than half of this year’s shortlisted writers are appearing in the competition for the first time.
This year’s prize jury was chaired by Kishore Mahbubani, a former ambassador and NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow. Its other members are novelist Meira Chand; historian Peter Coclanis; economist Lam San Ling; and archaeologist John Miksic, all from NUS. Ms Hidayah, who was born in the Kampong Glam neighborhood of Singapore, spent about five years writing her book, which aims to make the city’s history more accessible to a non-academic audience.
She explains that her work is “not a history book in the traditional sense,” but a collection of stories and vignettes about the lives of the city’s past residents. “My hope is that the book will encourage people to explore their own histories and consider their place in the wider world,” she says.
The winner of this year’s Singapore Literature Prize will be announced on November 30. In addition to a main award, there will also be prizes for the best poetry and young adult literature. A readers’ favorite exercise will also return, with the public voting online for their preferred title from the shortlist.
The heir to the British throne last visited Singapore with his wife, Princess Catherine, in 2012. He arrived at Changi Airport this week for the third annual Earthshot Prize ceremony, which he and his Royal Foundation charity launched to highlight innovations in combating climate change. He will spend the rest of his trip in Singapore, meeting with locals and seeing how they are working to protect and restore their environment. This will include a dragon boating race and a summit hosted by United for Wildlife, featuring representatives from law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and businesses fighting the world’s largest illegal trade in wildlife products, which is estimated to be worth $20 billion per year.