A maker of solar-powered dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that work to make electric car batteries cleaner, restore Andean forests and deter illegal fishing are among the winners of the inaugural Singapore prize. The awards ceremony was held on Tuesday at the National Museum of Singapore and was hosted by Britain’s Prince William, whose Royal Foundation charity launched the prize in 2020 to promote solutions and technologies that fight global warming and mitigate its impact on the planet.
The winners – including two women and one man – received S$200,000 ($16,500) in cash, and the other shortlisted finalists won S$100,000 ($7,500). The prizes were presented by Prince William, who flew into the city-state Sunday on his first visit to the region since 2012 as part of the Earthshot Prize program. During his walkabout at Changi Airport, the 41-year-old royal was welcomed by a crowd of cheering people waving British flags. He shook hands, signed autographs and took selfies with guests and locals, while wearing a 10-year-old dark green blazer by Alexander McQueen to match the event’s sustainability theme.
He also visited the Rain Vortex, a 40m high indoor waterfall that was illuminated green for his arrival, and saw an outdoor garden at the foot of the waterfall with a tree planted in his honor. He also listened to speeches by Singapore ministers and former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a trustee of the prize’s board.
Ardern praised the prize as a way to “amplify solutions that tackle climate change.” William, who wore an old suit and a 10-year-old dark green tuxedo by McQueen to keep with the sustainable theme, also hosted a glitzy awards ceremony at state-owned Media Corp. He and fellow presenters such as actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K. Brown, and singers Bastille, One Republic and Bebe Rexha, walked a “green carpet” made from recycled materials.
The NUS Singapore History Prize, launched in 2014, aims to broaden definitions of what constitutes history by inviting writings that deal with the island nation’s past from writers of any nationality. Its director, Keng Sen Ong, said that the prize wanted to “encourage and nurture new works to become deeply insightful and compelling.”
The NUS-Singapore Literature Prize was awarded tonight in 12 categories in the country’s four official languages – Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Its oldest winners were Suratman Markesan and Wang Gungwu, who are both 91 years old and won in the fiction category for their works in Malay and Tamil, respectively. The award ceremony was attended by 43 writers, some of whom were being honoured for the first time. Besides the cash prize, winners received a commissioned trophy and a StoryTel gift code for 12 months.