Singaporean Doctor Lynne Lim Clinches Top Prize at Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

The surgeon, who invented a portable medical device that revolutionises ear surgery, is one of 11 first-place awardees.
by Yanni Tan
Lynne Lim Cartier

Photo: Cartier

In an inspiring celebration of entrepreneurial impact, the Cartier Women’s Initiative honoured its 2024 awardees at a spectacular ceremony that saw Singaporean ENT specialist Lynne Lim clinching the prestigious Science & Technology Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking medical innovation. The annual awards event, held on May 22 in Shenzhen, China, spotlighted extraordinary women whose ventures are driving social and environmental change across the globe.

This year’s theme, Forces for Good, encapsulated the programme’s mission to expand its influence and cultivate a more equitable world. The ceremony, hosted by renowned writer and gender equality advocate Sandi Toksvig, began with a stirring dance performance by the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, reflecting the power of unity inherent in this year’s theme.

A moving performance by the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music (Photo: Cartier)

Cyrille Vigneron, Cartier CEO and president, highlighted the maison’s dedication to nurturing a community of changemakers. “When women thrive, humanity thrives,” he said, reiterating the conviction that has been the driving force behind the company’s CSR vision.

Esteemed guests of honour included supermodel, entrepreneur and philanthropist Karlie Kloss, as well as Chinese Olympic diving champion Guo Jingjing, who each took to the stage to share their insights on gender equality and the importance of inclusive empowerment.

Cartier CEO and president Cyrille Vigneron reaffirmed the maison’s support for women changemakers (Photo: Cartier)

Women who mean it

The event culminated in the announcement of the top three awardees across 11 categories, including regional and thematic awards. Dr Lynne Lim received the first-place Science & Technology Pioneer Award for her innovative venture, NousQ. This accolade recognises her pioneering contributions to medical technology, specifically in improving auditory health.

In particular, she is the brains behind CLiKX, the world’s first robotic, automated and sensor-controlled hand-held applicator that allows surgery for a condition called glue ear (medically known as otitis media with effusion) to be performed in an outpatient setting. Unlike current surgeries, CLiKX does away with general anaesthesia and the surgical microscope.

Lynne Lim Cartier

Dr Lynne Lim at a press roundtable (Photo: Cartier)

While this affliction, which is the build-up of fluid in the middle ear, is the leading cause of children’s visits to the doctor as well as the main cause of hearing loss in them, it is an especially devastating problem for kids from underprivileged communities who do not have proper access to medical care. And it was during a medical mission to rural Cambodia where Dr Lim recognised the urgent need, and eventually conceptualised the CLiKX device after watching her young daughter get her ears pierced.

Like other categories’ first-place winners, she was awarded US$100,000 in grant funding from Cartier, and was inducted into the “Fellows” community, giving her access to tailored mentoring and coaching, media visibility, networking opportunities, and education courses from INSEAD. The second- and third-place awardees, also recognised as the initiative’s fellows, were each endowed with US$60,000 and US$30,000 respectively.

Karlie Kloss took to the stage to share her entrepreneurial journey (Photo: Cartier)

Bright future

Anticipation is already building for the 2025 edition of the Cartier Women’s Initiative, scheduled for May 22 at the Women’s Pavilion during the World Expo in Osaka in Kansai, Japan. This special edition will focus on celebrating former fellows whose ventures have shown significant, measurable impacts within their fields.

The 2025 awards will recognise nine impact awardees in categories aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Improving Lives, Preserving the Planet, and Creating Opportunities. This focus on scaling impact underscores the importance of long-term commitment for impact-driven enterprises.

Winners of the 2025 edition will receive substantial financial support, with each awardee granted $100,000. In addition, the Cartier Women’s Initiative network will provide amplified support that ensures their ventures continue to grow and succeed.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

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