Pre-eminent Swiss watch brand Rolex has announced the names of the individuals who will comprise the Jury that will choose the 10 winners of a commemorative edition of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.
The Awards, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, is an international programme that supports individuals working on innovative and original projects around the world in five areas: science and health, applied technology, exploration and discovery, the environment, and cultural heritage.
The new Jury, which includes an Olympic Champion, a Nobel Prize winner, and an astronaut, will meet in Geneva in April 2016 to select five Laureates and five Young Laureates who have groundbreaking projects to improve life on the planet.
For the first time in its 40 years, the high number of applicants (24%) came from Africa, with a total of 2,322 people applying altogether.
Rolex’s head of philanthropy, Rebecca Irvin, was excited by the calibre of the Jury members. “As we begin the fifth decade of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, we welcome the outstanding group of Jury members who are giving their time to help us choose the latest winners of our long-standing, international philanthropic programme,” she said.
“The demographics of the applicants they will be scrutinising closely reflect the world at large: the growth of entrepreneurism in developing countries; the importance of innovative technology to our lives; and the increasing power and presence of women today.”
The Young Laureates initiative, introduced in 2009, was/is an extension to the programmed and is devoted to those aged between 18 and 30. Young Laureates each receive 50,000 Swiss francs, with Laureates receiving double that each.
The 10 new Laureates will be announced and honoured at a special 40th anniversary ceremony in Los Angeles in November 2016.