Young scientists dedicated to improving disaster resilience in our region will gain much deserved recognition through the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE).

Since 2011, the annual ASPIRE award has recognised young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists across APEC economies.

This year’s theme is disaster risk reduction. Researchers under the age of 40 who are engaged in high quality research in topics such as sustainable development, disaster management, urban planning and engineering are eligible to apply.

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane acknowledged the important role of science cooperation and research in improving disaster resilience to ensure economic prosperity across the region.

“In the wake of so many natural disasters in the region, such as the devastating Cyclone Pam, science’s contribution to detection and mitigation of disasters is more important than ever,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“By putting science at the heart of our economy, Australian researchers are using research to solve practical problems and protect communities across the region.

“This competition will showcase Australia’s regional leadership in disaster resilience and our young scientists’ dedication to solving the health, economic and societal problems posed by natural disasters.”

The Australian Government and Australian Academy of Science will run a national competition to select three finalists who will each be flown to Canberra to receive $2000. The winner, along with other economies’ candidates, will be nominated for the ASPIRE award which will be presented at a ceremony in the Philippines in August 2015.

The Australian Academy of Science said the competition would generate interest in the work of Australian early career researchers and promote their valuable role in our science and innovation system.

“ASPIRE is a fantastic opportunity for young Australian scientists to be recognised on the world stage and to help build scientific collaboration across the Asia-Pacific region. As we see increasing disasters in our region, it’s the innovative work of these early-career scientists that will help us to adapt and deal with these risks in the future,” said Professor Andrew Holmes, President of the Australian Academy of Science.

Australian applications for ASPIRE are now open and will close on 29 April 2015. Further information is available from the Australian Academy of Science website or by emailing[email protected].