The Singapore prize is an award given to people or organisations that have contributed significantly to the country in various sectors. The prize is organised by the government and philanthropists. Its aim is to propel winners to continue their innovations and ideas, and implement them on a larger scale. In addition, the prize also aims to give recognition to people and companies that are working towards sustainable development in Asia Pacific.
The winner of this year’s Singapore prize was Neo4j, a graph data platform which helps businesses unlock the value of their big data. The company was selected by a panel of judges from around the world, including representatives from Google, Microsoft, IBM and Facebook. The winners will be honoured at the annual awards ceremony held in November.
This is the first time that a company from Singapore has won the top award. The previous winners were companies from the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia. The award was introduced in 2020 by Britain’s Prince William, and this year marks the third year of its existence. The awards ceremony is to be held in Singapore on Nov 7.
The 2022 Singapore History Prize was awarded to Prof Miksic for his book, Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam, a comprehensive look at the island’s early communities. The book, published by NUS’ Department of History, was lauded as an elegantly crafted and well-researched work. The citation for the prize noted that the book was both a synthesis of history and a primary source, thanks to the personal inputs from Ms Hidayah Ibrahim. It is also “an affirmation that anyone who’s lived through a proportion of their lives in Singapore has the potential to write a history book, a story about our past.”
In other news, the award for Greenest City in Asia Pacific was won by Singapore, which was recognised for its commitment to sustainability. The award was based on a comprehensive set of criteria, which includes the country’s innovative projects and investments in renewable energy, its use of public transportation and its citizens’ commitment to sustainable development.
This year’s Singapore Prize was also a celebration of the work done by sportsmen and women from Singapore, with a special category for Paralympic athletes who have shown extraordinary achievements. In addition to the monetary rewards for Olympians, the organising committee also announced that there would be a new initiative for Paralympic athletes in 2023 to fund their training and development. The initiative will be funded by DBS, and will see the bank donating 20 per cent of its medal-winning money to SNPC and the Singapore Disability Sports Council. The rest of the money will go to cover athletes’ living costs. This is a significant increase from the current arrangement where only 10 per cent of a medal-winning athlete’s money is given to them. The increase is a welcome move as it will allow Paralympic athletes to receive more training and funding, and will enable them to achieve even more at the next Olympics.