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Life-saving health tech disruptor named top Asia-Pacific innovator

A revolutionary electronic materials engineer from Australia has been awarded the 2018 APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education for opening up new ways of detecting health threats. An Associate Professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, was named the region’s top early career researcher for her development of wearable elastic electronics and sensors.

Examples include the introduction of stretchable, optically transparent and ultra-thin devices that can alert a user to dangerous levels of UV ray exposure and help to prevent skin cancer, breakthroughs enabled by Dr. Bhaskaran’s cross-border research in the APEC region.

Dr. Bhaskaran was chosen by officials from a group of 13 finalists, each under 40 years of age, from an APEC member economy and drivers of collaborative research with peers in other APEC economies building smart technologies for healthy societies – the 2018 ASPIRE Prize theme.

The ASPIRE Prize winner was announced by science, technology and innovation officials from the APEC member economies, at their policy development meetings in Port Moresby to enable greater intra- regional research and trade.

“Dr. Bhaskaran’s research shows what’s possible when minds work together. It also underscores the importance of APEC work to seed new breakthroughs that can improve people’s lives in all areas of the region,” explained Papua New Guinea Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Pila Niningi.