The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC's 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. Every year one of the 21 APEC Member Economies plays host to APEC meetings and serves as the APEC Chair. Chile is the first APEC host economy to select “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth” as one of its APEC host year themes. On November 17, 2018 President Sebastián Piñera announced Chile’s intention to inaugurate an “APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize” in partnership with Merck.
Since 2014 the APEC “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” (HWHE) initiative has been working on a public-private partnership basis across three APEC working groups – the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE), Health Working Group (HWG), and Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) – to improve women’s health so women can join, thrive, and rise in the workforce. Merck, as the primary HWHE private sector partner, co-chaired development of the 2015 HWHE Policy Toolkit, which details the issues, actions, and implementing elements for improving women’s health across five pillars: workplace health and safety; health access and awareness; work-life balance; sexual and reproductive health; and gender-based violence.
HWHE has found that sex-disaggregated data and gender based research and analysis is lacking. Policy makers, business leaders and others do not have adequate data and evidence to draw from to identify gender-specific interventions appropriate for their economies and organizations. To spotlight and spur much-needed data and evidence, Chile, along with Merck’s support, is working to create an annual prize recognizing research that enables policy makers, business leaders, and others to identify and implement measures to improve women’s health in APEC economies so women can join and rise in the workforce.
In order to be considered for this prize, individuals must submit an original piece of research that is no older than two years of age as of January 1, 2019. All are welcome to apply; you do not require a background in academia in order to be considered. However, the research must be evidence based. Furthermore, the research must be submitted in English. If the research was not originally written in English please have it professionally translated.
The winner of the prize will win USD $20,000, while the 2 runners-up will win USD $5,000 each. If the winner or runner up is from government then the prize money will be given instead to HealthyWomen (a women’s health not-for-profit). Alternatively, the winner or runners-up may designate a not-for-profit entity to receive the prize money. Please attribute the research to all involved in its making, but only one individual may be nominated and eligible to receive the prize money and present the research in Chile.
 There are two different, unaffiliated companies that use the name Merck. The lead HWHE private sector partner is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, and is known as Merck everywhere in the world except in the United States and Canada where it goes by “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany” and also uses “EMD Serono” in biopharma. The other company, MSD, is headquartered in the United States. It is not affiliated with or related to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. MSD is only known as Merck in the United States and Canada.
 The APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy, Health Working Group, and Human Resources Development Working Group have also endorsed the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize.
 Not-for-profit entities must be unaffiliated with governments or government agencies to be eligible.