Prince William Visits the Singapore Prize Shortlist

The royal was greeted by the world’s largest indoor waterfall — which was lit up green to mark his arrival — at Changi Airport. The heir to the British throne traveled solo for this trip, which is part of his 2023 Earthshot Prize tour. He’s looking to help companies that use cutting-edge science and technology to scale up their ideas and push for a “cleaner, healthier and more sustainable world”.

At the star-studded awards ceremony at Mediacorp Theatre in Singapore, Prince William awarded the winners of his 2023 Earthshot Prize. The winners included a company that makes tyres designed for electric vehicles, a business that combats food waste and a firm that is bringing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya. The winners were joined on the “green carpet” by celebrities including actresses Cate Blanchett and Donnie Yen and Australian wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin.

Also at the event, NUS Press announced this year’s shortlist for its Singapore Literature Prize, a biennial award that celebrates authors from Singapore and across Asia. This year’s shortlist includes more than a dozen first-time writers and two nonagenarians — Mok Zining and Wang Gungwu, who were both shortlisted for their English creative nonfiction works. The prize’s “readers’ favorite” category, which gives consumers the opportunity to vote for their preferred shortlisted book, saw roughly double the number of voters compared to last year.

Prof Miksic’s book earned the prize because it offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Singapore’s history and place in the region. The work examines ancient artefacts and literary records to find clues to the city’s origins. The prize’s panel of judges praised his research, writing style and the clarity of his arguments.

The competition was launched in 2014 to spur interest in Singapore’s rich history and make it more accessible to non-academic audiences. The prize has also encouraged discussion about Singapore’s place in the world. The panel consists of academics and experts from the private sector, who are appointed by the president of NUS.

NUS Press chief executive Kishore Mahbubani said there are plans to expand the definition of what can qualify for the prize in future. For example, the contest may include fiction and other formats such as movies, he said. He cited the movie 12 Years A Slave as an example.

The NUS Fashion Innovation Prize 2023 was presented by the luxury retailer Vogue, which is a founding partner of the initiative. The winning business was chosen by a jury comprising BMW’s head of brand experience and communication Stefan Ponikva; Farfetch’s vice president of global industry partnerships and APAC commercial, Alexis Bonhomme; publisher of Vogue Singapore, Bettina von Schlippe; and Conde Nast’s senior director for new business innovation, Ciara Byrne. The other finalists were digital fashion business The Goods and a maternity apparel maker called Bump Boxes. The winners will receive a cash prize of $100,000 and mentorship opportunities, including with the Vogue team. They will also get a chance to present their solutions at the Vogue summit in Singapore next month.