Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today launched an award for Smart Nation projects by students.

The Lee Hsien Loong Interactive Digital Media Smart Nation Award was set up with $250,000 donated by the Prime Minister to the Ministry of Education.

It recognises ideas by polytechnic students using interactive technologies – like video games, apps and virtual reality – to improve citizens’ lives.

These could be projects like providing real-time transport data, smart devices in homes, apps for elderly and digital services.

“To build a Smart Nation, and make full use of IT in our lives, we need to gather good ideas from many sources. I want to encourage young people to be interested in IT, and to come up with creative ways of using IT to improve our lives,” Prime Minister Lee said.

The awards will open in 2017 and will be given out by the Ministry of Education.

Students can submit group or individual projects. They will be judged on how they contribute to Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. They should also demonstrate students’ technology skills. Projects should have potential to be implemented and scaled up.

Every year, five projects will be awarded $1,000 each.

Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information from the Prime Minister’s Facebook page.