The Winners of the 2023 Singapore Prize

singapore prize

The list of winners of this year’s Singapore Prize has been released. The award is given to scientists who have made significant contributions to pushing the boundaries of research in Singapore and the world. The winners include a cyber security firm, an interior design company and a graph data platform. The 2023 winners were announced at a ceremony held in conjunction with the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

The prize ceremony was attended by more than 1,000 people and featured speeches from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and National University of Singapore (NUS) president Prof Vivian Clement Chee. The event also saw the launch of the NUS Singapore History Prize, which was established in 2014 after an endowed gift. It is the first Singapore prize devoted to honouring Republic history, and will be awarded every three years. It is administered by the NUS Department of History, and casts a wide net in terms of what can be considered history – it could be fiction, movies or other formats.

NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani mooted the idea for the prize in a Straits Times column last year. He said: “A famous social scientist, Benedict Anderson, once said that nations are ‘imagined communities’ and that a shared imagination anchored on historical memory is critical to bind societies together today.”

Mahbubani says that in future, the NUS Singapore History Prize will broaden its definition of history and look at works in different genres, with a view to encouraging Singaporeans to engage with their country’s past. For example, NUS History Prize judges have previously cited Tamil writer rma cureess’ work, which examines Singapore’s history through a layperson’s perspective, as an example of what is eligible.

This year’s shortlisted works were chosen by a four-member panel led by NUS East Asian Institute chairman Wang Gungwu. Prof Miksic’s work, which tells the story of Singapore’s historic Fort Canning excavation, was deemed to be the most outstanding book on the subject. The 71-year-old American, who was invited to conduct the initial test excavations of the Fort in 1984, moved to Singapore in 1989 and is now with NUS’ Department of East Asian Studies.

The NUS Graph Data Platform won the Most Innovative Graph Data Platform 2022, beating competitors from Google and Microsoft. The software is used by many organisations including the NEA and various large financial institutions. The other shortlisted companies were a cyber security firm, an interior design firm and a food delivery service. The awards were presented by a panel of experts from the public and private sector. The prizes were also accompanied by awards for the most promising startup, the Most Innovative Startup, and the Top 10 Tech Startup. The winning startups will be rewarded with a trophy, a cash prize of S$200,000 and an incubation space at NUS’ Entrepreneurship Centre. The winners will be announced on 22 November at a ceremony in Singapore’s Science Park. The prize is sponsored by the Singapore Government.