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NTU receives $250,000 gift to promote groundbreaking research in sustainability

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today announced that the World Future Foundation (WFF) has contributed US$250,000 towards the continuation of Singapore's first-of-its-kind award for excellence in doctoral-level (PhD) environmental and sustainability research. Five prizes each worth US$10,000 will be given out annually over the next five years to the top five completed PhD theses related to the environment, sustainability and metropolis of the future.

Dr Feng Lun, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation and Chairman of the Beijing Vantone Industrial Co Ltd was at NTU earlier this morning for a gift agreement signing ceremony hosted by Professor Bertil Andersson, NTU President-Designate and Provost. The WFF, a Singapore-registered charity organisation devoted to advancing research and development of new environmental technologies, had offered the gift to the University following the success of the inaugural awards in 2010. This marks the second time that the WFF has given to the University; the first was in April 2010 when US$50,000 was given to NTU to set up the inaugural PhD prize.

Dr Feng Lun said, "Since it was established in 2010, the World Future Foundation PhD Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research at NTU has received much favourable attention and affirmation in Singapore. We are thrilled with the accomplishments achieved by NTU scholars, and have decided to continue giving to this fund in the next five years to develop this world-renowned academic award together with NTU."

Professor Bertil Andersson said, "NTU and the World Future Foundation share a deep concern for the environment and sustainable development. We hope this latest gift will spur more scholars to come up with fresh insights and solutions that will have a positive impact on our collective future. This collaboration is also in line with our objective to build on our current strengths and heritage to make our mark globally in sustainability research excellence." Sustainability is high on the university's priorities in the NTU 2015 strategic blueprint unveiled last year. Under the NTU 2015 plan, the university will make its global stamp in five key areas sustainability, healthcare, new media, the best of East and West, and innovation.

In July 2010, five PhD graduates from NTU Dr Goh Kok Hui, Dr Zhu Miao, Dr Chang Wei Wei Joyce, Dr Rujee Lorpitthaya and Dr Teh Yong Liang were among the first batch of PhD graduates to win the World Future Foundation PhD Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research. Their research areas included topics such as materials that absorb pollutants in water and new technologies to enhance energy efficiency. The winners were assessed on several criteria, including the societal and economic relevance of their research (e.g. commercial potential), evidence of novelty (e.g. patents), and a demonstrated passion for environmental and sustainability research.

The gift from World Future Foundation comes on the heels of NTU winning the lion's share of the National Research Foundation's (NRF) latest round of research grants last month, worth an estimated US$1.41 million (S$1.75 million) to develop cutting-edge technological inventions into prototypes for commercial applications. With more than US$668 million (S$830 million) in research funding in sustainability alone, NTU is fast becoming a global research powerhouse in environmental technologies. Besides ERI@N, NTU has several other centres engaged in sustainability research, including the Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute, and the TUM-Create Centre for Electromobility.


Contact: Feisal Abdul Rahman
Nanyang Technological University

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