Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 presented to Professor Kazuo Yamamoto for his pioneering solutions in advanced used water treatment

From left to right, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, Prize Council Chairman; Professor Kazuo Yamamoto, Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 laureate; Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore; and Professor Leo Tan, board member of Temasek Foundation. (Photo credit: SIWW 2022)

Guest-of-Honour Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore presented the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 Medallion and Certificate to Professor Kazuo Yamamoto, at the award ceremony held at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia today.

He is awarded for his pioneering invention of the world’s first operational submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR).

Although the first to present the submerged MBR concept at the then-International Association on Water Quality conference in 1988, Professor Yamamoto chose not to claim patent rights to his invention. His decision allowed for extensive research and development, and commercialisation efforts to be carried out, which accelerated the adoption of submerged MBR technology for used water treatment and thus benefitting the water sector and humanity at large.

Today, submerged MBR technology is widely recognised by experts as an effective technology to achieve effluent quality standards beneficial for water reuse, which also reduces environmental impact of used water discharge. The technology has paved the way for governments and water solutions providers across the world to develop higher standards of public health. 

Launched in 2008, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world’s water problems by developing or applying innovative technologies or implementing policies and programmes which benefit humanity, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize is the highlight of the Singapore International Water Week.

Featuring a range of flagship programmes, such as the Water Leaders Summit, the Water Convention and the Water Expo, the 9th Singapore International Water Week brings together thought leaders and stakeholders from the global water industry to share best practices and solutions, harness business opportunities and co-create innovative water solutions. Returning fully in-person this year, SIWW is co-located with the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) 2022 and is now ongoing at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, from 17-21 April 2022.