ASPIRE prize: Inclusive science, technology and innovation for a resilient and sustainable environment

The APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) is an annual award which recognises young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publication, and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies.

Nominations are now closed, the 2023 nominees can be found below. 

The 2023 ASPIRE nominees(external link) — APEC

The 2023 theme: Inclusive science, technology and innovation for a resilient and sustainable environment

This theme focuses on advancing environmental resiliency and sustainability through science, technology, and innovation that centres on diverse perspectives, and promotes an inclusive scientific ecosystem. Unlocking the diversity of thought and experience can expand the boundaries of scientific knowledge, which is vital to fundamental research and underpins resilient and sustainable solutions to global environmental and societal challenges.

The theme highlights scientific research dedicated to inclusivity at all stages of career development. This goal additionally incorporates all facets of society in an effort to shape a more balanced world. This may include research that encourages the increased societal connectivity of underserved and marginalized populations, promotes self-sustaining ecosystems, or achieves solutions to mitigate public health risks.

Action toward this end may take various forms:

  • enhancing climate mitigation and resilience
  • reducing disaster risk
  • promoting food security, safety, and agriculture biotechnology
  • tackling environmental challenges
  • or fostering an enabling environment to accomplish these goals.

About the award

Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies, including inclusive and interdisciplinary collaborations in subjects such as:

  • biology
  • oceanography
  • chemistry
  • environmental science
  • public health
  • economics
  • data sciences
  • social sciences
  • other relevant fields.

Each APEC economy may nominate 1 individual to represent them in this year’s competition. The nominee must be from the APEC region (which includes New Zealand) and under 40 years of age on 31 December 2023. The impact of their work will be judged on their excellence in research and cross-border collaboration with peers from other APEC economies. Relevant academic disciplines include biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics, among others.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize of USD$25,000 from the publishers Wiley and Elsevier. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony hosted by the United States of America in August 2023.

New Zealand has opened nominations for its candidate.

Key dates

Key activity Dates
Applications open 3 May 2023
Applications due 18 May 2023
Assessment panel pick the New Zealand candidate Late May 2023


Any citizen of an APEC member economy is eligible to be nominated for the ASPIRE Prize. All 2023 nominees must be under the age of 40 as of 31 December 2023.

Selection process

Each member economy, through its MBIE representative on the APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI), is invited to nominate 1 young scientist under the age of 40 to be considered for the 2023 ASPIRE Prize.

Once nominations are received, PPSTI members across the APEC region rank the nominees through a selection ballot to determine the winner.

PPSTI members will judge the nominees based on how well they have demonstrated:

  • excellence in scientific research, as evidenced through scholarly publication
  • commitment to cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies
  • contribution to the theme of “Inclusive science, technology and innovation for a resilient and sustainable environment”.

ASPIRE 2023 Nomination Form

To apply to be New Zealand’s candidate for this regional prize, please complete the nomination form and return by 18 May 2023 to:

Last updated: 15 August 2023