A polar scientist, a robotic suit designer and an eye specialist who wants to save millions of people from going blind are among 10 innovators from around the world who have won Rolex Awards in the 40th anniversary year of the programme. Other winners have projects as diverse as technology to stop hunger and conservation initiatives to save species and habitats.
The 10 Laureates and Young Laureates were recognized a public awards ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
The Rolex Awards is an international philanthropic programme that supports new and ongoing projects by individuals taking on major challenges to benefit
mankind. It has served as a benchmark for corporate philanthropy the world over for four decades.
Hundreds of luminaries, leading scientists, environmentalists and business people from Los Angeles and abroad will gather this evening at the Dolby Theatre, a Hollywood landmark that is renowned as home of the Academy Awards, to celebrate the spirit of enterprise manifested by the winners chosen in this commemorative year.
The 10 winners of 2016 join the 130 Laureates who have gone before them in the 40 years since the Awards’ launch in 1976 when the programme was created to observe the half-century celebration of the iconic Rolex Oyster chronometer, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch.
Oscar Ekponimo founder of Chowberry is a 2016 receipient of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise addressing the problems of food poverty through Chowberry, a cloud-based application that automates the monitoring of food products approaching the end of shelf-life and generates notifications to food retailers, allowing them to offer discounts to charities, and ultimately helping to alleviate hunger in the country.
The 2016 winners became part of the community of the Rolex Laureates and Associate Laureates who have helped to reshape the world in the 40 years since the Awards were created. Tonight’s 40th anniversary celebration in Los Angeles acknowledges the catalytic impact that they have made on their communities and beyond.
Rolex philanthropy Philanthropy and corporate social responsibility have been an integral part of Rolex’s corporate culture since its beginnings. Supporting the greater good and individual achievement is fundamental to the company’s ethos. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise and its sister programme, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé
Arts Initiative, comprise the two major international philanthropic programmes created and run by the company. The Arts Initiative brings together emerging artists with masters in architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theatre and the visual arts for a year of intensive collaboration. The aim is to help ensure that artistic excellence is passed on to the next generation. Both programmes foster innovation and advance the work of those who exemplify the vision, originality and excellence that define Rolex.