APEC member economies have announced their nominees for the 2013 APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education, also known as the ASPIRE Prize. In-line with this year’s theme, the prize honors a young scientist whose collaborative work in the region has made an outstanding contribution to “sustainable ocean development.” The nominees are:

  • Australia: Dr. Carissa KLEIN (University of Queensland) -- Tackling marine conservation by balancing biodiversity and socioeconomic viability.
  • China: Dr. Changxiang YAN (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) – Understanding the ocean’s past and present  to predict its future.
  • Hong Kong, China: Dr. Zhonghui LIU (University of Hong Kong -- Understanding oceanic and climatic changes and their possible drivers.
  • Indonesia: Dr. Tonni Agustiono KURNIAWAN (United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies) -- Identifying low-cost approaches to water pollution control.
  • Korea: Dr. Yeon-Ju LEE (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology) -- Uncovering new medicines and nutritional sources in marine organisms.
  • New Zealand: Dr. Craig RADFORD (University of Auckland) - Revolutionizing understanding of bioacoustics to support sustainable management of marine ecosystems.
  • United States: Dr. Demian Alexander WILLETTE (University of California, Los Angeles) -- Leveraging genetic research to help governments maintain marine ecosystem health

“These seven nominees demonstrate the impressive young scientific talent undertaking cross-border scientific collaboration to help us achieve sustained economic benefits from ocean resources as well as the sustainable development of marine environments and marine-resource dependent communities,” said Prof. Dr. Ir. Gusti Muhammad Hatta MSi, Indonesia’s Minister for Research and Technology. 

Minister Hatta is scheduled to present the award in Medan, Indonesia on 1 July 2013 alongside a cluster of APEC meetings.

“As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia selected sustainable ocean development as this year’s ASPIRE Prize theme to bring attention to young scientists  whose pioneering work focuses on one of the region’s most important shared resources – our oceans,” he continued. 

Asia alone accounted for 89 percent of world aquaculture production by volume and more than 87 percent of all people employed in the fisheries sector globally in 2010, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s most recent data. It also accounted for two-thirds of all human fish consumption in 2009.

“This year’s nominees call attention to the dynamic scientific networks among researchers, universities, research centers and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “Collectively, their work is critical to improving the management and development of ocean resources, and better understanding phenomena that can have a potentially significant impact on the region’s economies.”

“These young scientists are not only helping to safeguard oceans and marine resources in the Asia-Pacific, they are showing us that by heightening scientific collaboration across borders  we can uncover the best science and the best solutions,” said Dr. Agus R Hoetman, Chair of the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation which administers the ASPIRE Prize.

Each APEC member economy may nominate one individual under 40 years of age for the 2013 ASPIRE Prize. The prize is sponsored by Wiley and Elsevier, respectively, and carries US$25,000 in prize money.

Further information on the ASPIRE Prize  and this year’s nominees is available on the 2013 ASPIRE Prize website or by contacting Mr. Mikiharu Shimizu, Program Director for the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation, at mk12@apec.org.

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