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News Release

NTU to host the World Cultural Council awards and inaugural World Academic Summit

27 September 2013 Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is hosting two prestigious events next week – the World Cultural Council’s 30th Award Ceremony and the World Academic Summit. These events will bring into focus the outstanding achievements of the world’s best and most creative minds, and bring together leaders and decision-makers from around the world to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to the development of future research and innovation.

Three leading scholars and artists will be honoured at the World Cultural Council Award Ceremony on 2 October 2013. The World Cultural Council, a Mexico-based international organisation that promotes academic achievement, will present its Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Professor Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society (United Kingdom), and the Leonardo da Vinci Award of Arts to Prof Petteri Nisunen and Mr Tommi Gronlund in a ceremony on NTU's campus.

Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, will grace the World Cultural Council Award Ceremony as the Guest of Honour.

Each year, the World Cultural Council chooses two leading scholars from around the world – one in the field of science and the second, in alternate years, either in arts or education – whose work benefits society. The WCC selects a university to host the annual awards celebration.

This is the first time in the 30-year history of the ceremonies that the council's awards committee has selected a Singapore university to host these Awards, and to present the Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci Awards together for the first time in Asia.

Singapore is also the first to host the World Academic Summit, which NTU is co-organising with Times Higher Education. The Summit, which will feature a slate of high profile speakers including Mr S R Nathan, former President of the Republic of Singapore; Dr Marcus Storch, former chairman of the Nobel Foundation and Lord David Puttnam of Queensgate, the Oscar-winning producer of the film ‘Chariots of Fire’, will focus on the economic role of universities as key partners of commerce and industry, and in particular, what universities can do in fuelling the future knowledge economy.

The Presidents of world-leading universities – including Sir Keith O'Nions, President and Rector of Imperial College London, Prof Tony Chan from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Prof Edward Byrne of Monash University and Prof Oh Yeon Cheon from Seoul National University – as well as Dr Jean-Lou Chameau, former President of Caltech and now President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, will also be participating as speakers and panellists.

Prof Bertil Andersson, NTU President, said, “NTU is delighted that following the last ceremony in Denmark, the World Cultural Council presided by Nobel Prize winner Prof Edmond H. Fischer has chosen to host this prestigious international event on our campus this year. This year, five Singapore researchers will also be honoured at the ceremony for making a global impact with their research. The World Cultural Council Award Ceremony will be twinned with the World Academic Summit, which will bring together leaders from industry, higher education and governments to discuss the commercialisation of research and how universities can fuel technological change and economic growth.”

Prof Edmond Fischer, President of the World Cultural Council, remarked, "The World Cultural Council has chosen for celebrating its 30th Award Ceremony, Nanyang Technological University, as one of the most distinguished and fastest-growing Asian seats of learning. We applaud its fast rise in ranking among top institutions of higher education - now 2nd among young elite universities – and the outstanding contributions it has made to culture and the sciences in that quadrant of the world."

Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Phil Baty, Editor, Times Higher Education Rankings and Editor at Large, Times Higher Education, said, “Singapore is one of the most exciting and dynamic world centres for innovation and research – a true global hub for attracting top talent -- and its two leading institutions are both rising up the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with strong scores for research, industry links and international outlook. Indeed, NTU is one of the fastest-rising institutions in the world and has attracted worldwide attention. So at Times Higher Education magazine, we felt Singapore was the perfect place to host the inaugural THE World Academic Summit – where better to bring together the world’s thought leaders?”

More than 200 outstanding global thought leaders from industry, government, higher education and research from over 25 countries are expected to attend the World Academic Summit to explore the fundamental role that world-class research universities play in pushing the boundaries of our collective understanding and fuelling the future knowledge economy.

The timely and important topics that will be discussed at the summit include: collaborating across national borders to tackle the world’s grand challenges and the role of the private sector in supporting and delivering world-class research, as well as nurturing top talent in the face of an uncertain future.

The official worldwide launch of the 2013-14 Times Higher Education World University Rankings will be held in conjunction with the Summit and a master class on ranking methodology and performance trends will be conducted by THE Rankings editor and Mr Simon Pratt of Thomson Reuters.

Public lectures by Nobel Laureates and other scientific luminaries

Prior to the World Cultural Council Award Ceremony, Professor Sir Paul Nurse, Prof Petteri Nisunen and Mr Tommi Gronlund will share perspectives on their work in public lectures. Prof Nurse's lecture, titled "Controlling the Cell Cycle," will be held on Tuesday morning, 1 October 2013, at NTU's School of Biological Sciences, while Prof Nisunen and Mr Gronlund will touch on the topic "Sites, Senses and Synergies: Selected Works 1993-2013," at the Research Techno Plaza the following day.

In addition, Prof Edmond Fischer, Nobel Laureate for Physiology/Medicine (1992) and President of the WCC, and Prof Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience and philosophy at the University of London and Vice President of WCC, will also deliver public lectures related to their research fields on the mornings of 30 September and 2 October respectively.

The Straits Times is the Official Singapore Media Partner for the World Cultural Council Award Ceremony and the World Academic Summit. For more information, visit: www.ntu.edu.sg.

http://media.ntu.edu.sg/NewsReleases/Pages/newsdetail.aspx?news=b45cabce-4f65-40d4-95fb-52588cd35866

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