Inspired by the Natural World, Science Prize Finalists Tackle Global Challenges

Santiago, Chile, 18 June 2019
  • Issued by the APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology, and Innovation

Using crab shells to cleanse minerals from contaminated waters. Mimicking natural photosynthesis to generate renewable energy. Combining field experiments with computer simulation to see when and where fish species will cross boundaries due to climate change. These are some of the pioneering research that are being considered for the 2019 APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education, popularly known as the ASPIRE Prize.

An annual award that recognizes young scientists across the Pacific Rim region who demonstrate excellence in scientific research, this year the ASPIRE Prize promotes innovative research that advances society through ‘natural laboratories’. The winning entry among the current crop of 15 finalists will receive a USD 25,000 prize from Wiley and Elsevier, publishers of scholarly scientific knowledge.

“The ‘laboratory’ of nature has inspired generations of scientists to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. In turn, the scientists’ innovative approaches inspire us to pursue economic growth that is sustainable in the long-term,” said Dr. Fabiola Leon-Velarde Servetto, Chair of the APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology, and Innovation, which oversees the prize.

“From sustainable energy production to protection of the marine ecosystem, the issues raised by these exceptional scientists this year reflect APEC Chile’s focus on sustainable growth for 2019. The discoveries enabled by science, technology, and innovation can be crucial to economic development and help decision-makers make better policy decisions,” she continued.

Nominated for their scientific accomplishments and cross-border collaboration, this year’s ASPIRE Prize nominees represent APEC’s most inventive minds. Each economy may nominate one individual, who must be from the region and under 40 years of age.

Click here to meet the 2019 ASPIRE Prize finalists

“From the South Pole to Borneo to the International Space Station, the research carried out by this year’s finalists addresses some of our biggest global challenges,” said Youngsuk “Y.S.” Chi, Chairman of Elsevier. “We are delighted to highlight their work and look forward to seeing its impact.”

Every year the ASPIRE prize brings forward bright sparks of imagination and academic rigor. Work carried out by the 2019 nominees include satellite remote sensing and machine learning to monitor changes in coastal ecosystems, observation of aquatic insects adapting to global change in freshwater ecosystems, and surveillance of the Avian Influenza virus in wild birds.

“The 15 nominees teach us about the importance of international research collaboration and of the natural world before us. We thank the nominees for their pursuit of scientific excellence; their work reminds us to think bigger about what we can accomplish and is vitally important in moving the world towards a more sustainable future. We are thrilled to sponsor the ASPIRE Prize and look forward to honoring the winner,” said Brian Napack, President and CEO, Wiley.

Announcement of the winner will take place at an award ceremony on the sidelines of the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meetings in Puerta Varas, Chile, in August 2019. For more on APEC’s upcoming events, please visit here.

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For further details, please contact:

Dini Sari Djalal +65 9137 3886 at [email protected]
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at [email protected]

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