Since 1976, Rolex has honoured extraordinary individuals who possess the courage and conviction to take on major challenges. Each Rolex Award for Enterprise is given for a new or ongoing project anywhere in the world – one that deserves support for its capacity to improve lives, or protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. These projects have touched all aspects of humanity by expanding knowledge or improving life on the planet.
Rolex Laureates are of all nationalities and backgrounds. They are united by a talent for independent thinking and the capacity to embrace projects that require creativity and determination in the face of considerable odds.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were launched in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster chronometer, the world’s first waterproof watch.
An international Jury of independent experts, which typically includes explorers, conservationists, scientists, doctors, educators and innovators, chooses the Laureates.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise support pioneering work in three areas: the environment, applied science and technology or exploration. In addition to demonstrating a spirit of enterprise and leadership, candidates must put forward projects or work plans that have a clear purpose, are original and have the potential for significant impact.
Rolex recognizes the refreshing approach that young people have to solving problems. The first set of Awards devoted to Young Laureates, aged between 18 and 30 years, took place in 2009 with the idea of supporting visionary young men and women at a critical juncture in their careers. In 2018, the programme is seeking Young Leaders who have an initiative to advance human knowledge or improve life on the planet.
Each winner receives 100,000 Swiss francs. In addition, Rolex ensures winners receive access to its network of more than 100 past Laureates, as well as the benefit of international publicity through media coverage and the Rolex Awards website.