Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award



The Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award was first established in May 1986 to encourage and promote creativity and innovation in science and technology.1 The competition is open to Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 36 and below (Open Section) as well as students aged 25 and below (Student Section).2 In 2001, the Defence Science category was introduced.3

In January 1986, Nobel Laureate Professor Yang Chen Ning, was in Singapore as the leader of an international advisory panel on engineering and physical sciences.4 He observed that Asian students, including Singapore students, were good learners but lacked originality in scientific research.5 He suggested giving invention awards that could help to encourage youths to be innovative and creative.6 The Tan Kah Kee Foundation accepted this suggestion and in May 1986 offered the annual Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award.7

There are three categories under the Open Section that participants can submit their entries, namely: Engineering, Physics and Chemistry; Computer Science; and Biological and Medical Sciences.8 Criteria for the awards include originality, degree of practical application and commercial potential.9 Judges include professionals from the government and private sectors, as well as academics from local universities.10

The award’s rules and regulations have evolved through the years. The Student and Open Sections were initially held every alternate year.11 In 1995, the former National Science and Technology Board (currently known as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research or A*STAR) rendered its support to the award to provide assistance to the young inventors in the further development of their inventions.12 With this support, the both the Open and Student sections were held annually from 1996.13 The age limit for the Open Section was raised from 27 years old in 1986 to 30 years old in 1988,14 and is presently 36 years old. In 1992, the Open Section started accepting entries from non-Singapore citizens and non-permanent residents, but winners are only eligible to receive special awards.15 The Student Section was also opened to foreign students studying in Singapore since 1991.16

Since 1995, the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) became a co-organiser and launched the Defence Science Award under the umbrella of the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award.17 The award aims “to promote greater interest in defence science and technology among Singapore's youth, and to raise their awareness of the importance of harnessing science and technology to enhance Singapore’s defence and security”.18 DSO National Laboratories joined the collaboration in 2011 to further strengthen support for the Defence Science section.

Award Categories
Student Section19
Gold Award: a gold medal and S$5,000 cash
Silver Award: a silver medal and S$2,000 cash
Merit Award: a certificate and S$500 cash
Commendation Award: a certificate and S$200 cash
Cash awards: S$3,000, S$2,000 and S$1,000 will be given to the top three schools with the most number of shortlisted inventions after the first round of selection
Special Awards: a medal and a certificate (awarded to the foreign student winners studying in Singapore)

Open Section20
Gold Award: a gold medal and S$10,000 cash
Silver Award: a silver medal and S$5,000 cash
Merit Award: a certificate and S$3,000 cash
Commendation Award: a certificate and S$1,000 cash
Special Awards: a medal and a certificate (awarded to foreign winners residing in Singapore)



Author

Jane Wee




References
1. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
2. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
3. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
4. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
5. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
6. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
7. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
8. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
9. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
10. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
11. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
12. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved  from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
13. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved  from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
14. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
15. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
16. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
17. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
18. Tan Kah Kee Foundation. (n.d.). Young Inventors’ Award 2016. Retrieved from Tan Kah Kee Foundation website: https://www.tkkfoundation.org.sg/young-inventors-award/2016
19. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)
20. 陈嘉庚青少年发明奖  [Tan Kah Kee young inventor's award]. (1993). 新加坡: 新加坡中华总商会 [Xin jia po: Xin jia po zhong hua zong shang hui], p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 608.075957 TKK)



Further resource
Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry. (1993).Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award: Taking young minds to new frontiers. Singapore: Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

(Call no.: YRSING 608 TAN)



The information in this article is valid as at 2011 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Contests--Singapore
Awards--Singapore
Science and technology
Events