Message by Chairman (Prof Phua Kok Khoo)
Launched in 1986, the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award is perhaps the first annual award given for creativity and innovation in Singapore. It was initiated by Nobel Laureate, Professor C N Yang, who proposed having this Young Inventors' Award for the purpose of encouraging students and young people to be more involved in creativity and invention. They should not just try to achieve good results in their school examinations.
We believe that the Award has effectively contributed to the development of an innovative and inventive culture in Singapore. It is an excellent platform for young people to showcase their thinking skills and to gain first-hand experience in applying principles of science and technology to real-life problems. We are pleased that the Award is now quite established and the competition has been gaining much momentum with increasing number of projects submitted each year.
Besides the student section and open section, a new category of the Award - Defense Science Award was established in 2001. This marked our first collaboration with the Defense Science & Technology Agency (DSTA), apart from the Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*Star) who has been our co-organizer since 1995.
The Foundation also successfully launched the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award in Shanghai in 2002, as a regional collaboration with Shanghai University, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
As all of you are aware, to promote creativity and innovation is not easy, yet it is important to introduce new ideas and approaches. We believe that it is the right time for Singapore to review the efforts and approaches we should adopt in encouraging creativity and innovation. Hence, our committee would also like to organize workshops and seminars to identify and review different approaches to creativity and innovation for our award, and hopefully to discover new ways to upgrade and improve our activities.