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Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation awards grants for research to projects addressing Singapore's social issues

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Mar 2017

Four projects which aim to tackle some of Singapore’s healthcare and traffic issues have been awarded the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (MSIWF) research grant for 2016.
   The Singapore winners received grants amounting to a total value of S$38,000 (US$26,750) from MSIWF Executive Director Mr Yoshihito Nomura at a ceremony in Singapore on 20 January 2017. The four winners and projects are:
  • Ms Maria Cecilia Rojas Lopez, PhD candidate at the School of Civil and Environment Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, for her research that will lead to the development of traffic schemes and policies for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on footpaths;
  • Dr Tan Ngiap Chuan, Family Physician, Senior Consultant and Director, Research at SingHealth Polyclinics, whose proposed study aims to find out how common is the age-related loss of muscle mass and muscle function, known as “sarcopenia” among elderly patients;
  • Dr Kinjal Doshi, principal clinical psychologist at Singapore General Hospital, who aims to create a better tool for use in identifying loss of functional abilities among the elderly; and
  • Dr Rufaihah Binte Abdul Jalil, assistant professor at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, who will design a diagnostic tool for atherosclerosis, a main illness known to harden the arteries usually affecting the elderly. 
   Mr Alan Wilson, Regional CEO of MSIG Holdings (Asia) Pte Ltd said: “It is our mission to help secure a sustainable future for the communities at large. With a growing ageing demographic in Singapore, solutions for improving the quality of life are critical for sustainable growth. This grant from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation aims to empower talented researchers to do just that.” 
   The winners will conduct their research over the next 12 months, with their findings published in scientific journals as well as shared with the Foundation during the next presentation ceremony in 2018. Together with four projects from Thailand and 37 from Japan, they form the 45 awardees selected from a total of 246 applications after a call for the grants was launched in June last year.
   Since its inception in 1975 until today, the MSIWF has provided more than 1,974 grants with a combined value of JPY2,295 million (US$20.21 million). Eligibility for the grants, which focus on senior citizen welfare and traffic safety, were extended beyond Japan to include Singapore and Thailand projects in 2007 and 2008 respectively. MSIWF has awarded 38 Singapore projects with grants worth a total of over S$363,300 to date.
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