Rolex has announced the opening of applications to the 2012 Rolex Awards for Enterprise. The awards were established in 1976 to provide funding and recognition to individuals whose projects bring significant benefits to their communities and to the wider world.
Five Laureates will be selected by an independent Jury of experts who will meet early in 2012. Each Laureate receives $100,000 to advance their project, plus appreciation and publicity for their work through international advertising campaigns. Each Laureate also receives a Rolex timepiece.
“As ever, we are seeking forward-looking men and women who are tackling the challenges of our age and who have innovative projects,” said Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex. “We look forward to receiving many wonderful proposals from around the world.”
The Rolex Awards are open to anyone of any age or nationality whose groundbreaking projects are helping to expand the knowledge of our world and improve the quality of life on the planet and the outlook for humankind. These projects are grouped broadly in the areas of science and health; applied technology; exploration and discovery; the environment; and cultural heritage.
In addition to demonstrating an exceptional spirit of enterprise, candidates must put forward projects that have a clear purpose, are original and have a significant impact.
For the first time, candidates for the Rolex Awards will be able to submit their project ideas in a short online pre-application. The deadline for pre-applications is 31 May 2011.
Only pre-applicants whose projects best meet the selection criteria will be chosen by Rolex for further consideration and will be invited to submit a full application.
Prospective entrants can apply to the 2012 Rolex Awards at www.rolexawards.com, where they will find all relevant documents.
As in previous series, the 2012 Jury may decide to grant other prizes to applicants worthy of support. The amount of these prizes will be determined at the discretion of the Jury.
The Awards for Enterprise and the Young Laureates Program.
Since the founding in 1976, Rolex has presented 115 monetary Awards to individuals from 42 countries, implementing projects in more than 60 countries. Typically, more than 1,500 people apply to each series. 25,800 applications have been received since 1976, and 110 Laureates have been selected. The youngest person to win a Rolex Award was 28, and the oldest was 74. In 2008, the average age of the applicants was 47, and women made up 23% of the applicants.
In 2009, Rolex launched the Young Laureates Program, a new initiative of the Rolex Awards that funds young pioneers (ages 18-30) and their innovative projects. The program rewards bright new ideas and encourages the next generation to meet the challenges of the future. The original Rolex Awards and the Young Laureates Program alternate every two years.