Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Rolex Awards, and what is the spirit of enterprise?
The Rolex Awards identify and invest in exceptional people around the world who are carrying out pioneering projects. 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.
Why did Rolex set up the Awards for Enterprise?
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were launched in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch.
How are winners chosen?
Rolex Award Laureates are chosen through a meticulous process that involves peer review, assessment, interview and evaluation of the likelihood of their project achieving its aims. This generates a short-list of candidates from whom an independent jury of international experts selects the Laureates. The jury typically includes eminent explorers, scientists, entrepreneurs and educators convened from around the globe. Rolex may conduct a public engagement campaign on a number of finalists, asking members of the public to vote for the projects that inspire them the most. In that case, results of the public vote will not be published: they will be given confidentially to the jury of the 2021 Rolex Awards, informing and assisting them to determine the selection of the five 2021 Laureates.
What are the selection criteria?
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise support innovative work in science and health, the environment, applied technology, exploration and cultural heritage. 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..
What do Laureates receive?
Laureates receive a cash grant of 200,000 Swiss francs to advance their projects. In addition, Rolex ensures winners receive access to its network of 150 Laureates, international publicity through media coverage and a Rolex chronometer.
2021 Rolex Awards
Applications for the 2021 edition of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise are now open until 15 April 2020. The Rolex Awards are open to anyone over 18 years of age, of any nationality, whose ground-breaking project is helping to expand the knowledge of our world or improve the quality of life on the planet. Projects are grouped broadly in the areas of applied technology, cultural heritage, the environment, exploration, and science and health. The five Laureates selected will receive a cash grant, a Rolex chronometer and worldwide publicity. The deadline to apply is April 15 2020.