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July 10, 2023

Science Prize for Women Names Finalists to Represent ASEAN Member States

Today, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), the U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and UL Research Institutes announced 12 ASEAN member states’ finalists for the 2023 Underwriters Laboratories-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. Finalists will compete for the UL Research Institutes’ sponsored awards of USD $12,500 for the winner and USD $5,000 for the runner-up in each competition category.

The finalists in the mid-career scientist category are Dr. Juliana Haji Zaini of Brunei Darussalam, Dr. Noor Titan Putri of Indonesia, Dr. Nofri Yenita Dahlan of Malaysia, Dr. Charlle L. Sy of the Philippines, Dr. Lili Zhang of Singapore and Dr. Nguyen Thi Yen Lien of Vietnam.

The finalists in the senior scientist category include Dr. Nu Rhahida Arini of Indonesia, Dr. Norasikin Ahmad Ludin of Malaysia, Dr. Hla Nu Phyu of Myanmar, Dr. Maria Natalia R. Dimaano of the Philippines, Prof. Madhavi Srinivasan of Singapore, and Dr. Pimpa Limthongkul of Thailand.

This year’s theme, Electrification, recognizes the notable work of ASEAN women scientists to create electricity using renewable or clean sources of energy in a way that brings economic benefits and protects the environment. Their innovation has the potential to directly impact more than 662 million people currently living in Southeast Asia.

Now in its ninth year, the Science Prize for Women underscores the importance of women’s contributions to improving society in sustainable ways through their expertise in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) research. Additionally, the competition highlights the successful and durable public-private sector partnership among ASEAN COSTI, USAID, and UL Research Institutes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous, independent research and safety in science education through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge.

In the next stage, USAID, Underwriters Laboratories, COSTI, and the ASEAN Secretariat will narrow the field to four regional finalists, who will deliver research presentations in October to determine award recipients.

Chair of the ASEAN COSTI 2023 and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications of Brunei Darussalam Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof said, “My warmest congratulations to all of the finalists. Their groundbreaking work in harnessing electrification as a renewable energy source sets a remarkable example for sustainable development. Your innovation will pave the way for a greener future in our region.”

“This competition underscores the importance of renewable energy for powering communities in the ASEAN region, thus reducing the carbon footprint,” said Judy Jeevarajan, vice president and executive director of the Electrochemical Safety Research Institute at UL Research Institutes. “We continue to proudly support the finalists in this year’s Prize, whose work provides solutions in advancing their communities’ economic development while reducing practices that are detrimental to the environment.”

“For the past nine years, the United States has been a proud partner with ASEAN COSTI and UL Research Institutes to sponsor the Science Prize for Women,” said U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham. “Women throughout ASEAN are conducting innovative research that will be critical in tackling climate change.  We want to harness their work, with support from USAID, to advance ASEAN’s energy goals, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and drive resilient economies.”

As part of the U.S. strategic approach to the Indo-Pacific, USAID continues to partner with ASEAN to promote prosperity and security through economic inclusion, women’s empowerment, and good governance. Close to 400 participants from all ten ASEAN member states have taken part in the competition since 2014.

For additional information, contact USAID ASEAN Office’s Communications Specialist, Samara Sanders at: jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov

More information on the competition can be found at: scienceprize4women.asean.org