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Entries open for the 2021 Ryman Prize

Written by Ryman Prize Foundation
on March 17, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE March 17, 2021

The Ryman Prize is an international award aimed at encouraging the best and brightest thinkers in the world to focus on ways to improve the health of older people.The world’s ageing population means that in some parts of the globe – including much of the Western world – the population aged 75+ is set to almost triple in the next 30 years.

Older people face not only the acute threat of COVID-19, but also the burden of chronic diseases including Alzheimers and diabetes.

At the same time the health of older people is one of the most underfunded and under resourced areas of research.

So, to stimulate fresh efforts to tackle the problems of old age, we’re offering a $250,000 annual prize for the world’s best discovery, development, advance or achievement that enhances quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize was first awarded in 2015 to Gabi Hollows, co-founder of the Hollows Foundation, for her tireless work to restore sight for millions of older people in the developing world.

Since then world-leading researchers and inventors Professor Henry Brodaty, Professor Peter St George-Hyslop, Professor Takanori Shibata and Dr Michael Fehlings have all won the prize for their outstanding work.

In 2020 Professor Miia Kivipelto, a Finnish researcher whose research into the causes of Alzheimers and dementia has had a worldwide impact, was awarded the prize by the Right Honourable, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.
If you have a great idea or have achieved something remarkable like Miia and our five other prize winners, we would love to hear from you.

Entries for the 2021 Ryman Prize close at 5pm on Friday, July 16, 2021 (New Zealand time).

About the Ryman Prize:
The Ryman Prize is administered by the Ryman Foundation. The annual prize consists of a $250,000 grant which is awarded by an international jury to the best invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

It is the world’s richest prize of its type and was established to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for people working in the field of the health of older people.

The prize was launched in 2015 and the inaugural prize was won by Gabi Hollows, the founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Gabi Hollows set up the charity with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows, and together they worked tirelessly to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in older people in the developing world.

The 2016 Ryman Prize was won by Professor Henry Brodaty. Professor Brodaty is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The 2017 Ryman Prize was won by Professor Peter St George-Hyslop, a geneticist and researcher based at Cambridge and the University of Toronto. Peter has spent 30 years researching neuro-degenerative diseases, focusing on discovering the key genes and proteins that cause cells to degenerate.

Professor Takanori Shibata won the 2018 Ryman Prize for his tenacity in pursing new technology to help ease the burden of older people suffering from dementia.

The 2019 Ryman Prize was won by Canadian neurosurgeon Dr Michael Fehlings. Dr Fehlings won the prize for his pioneering work for older people suffering from Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM), a degenerative neck compression problem which is the most common form of injury to the spinal cord.

Professor Miia Kivipelto won the 2020 prize for her more than 20 years of research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Professor Miia Kivipelto is Professor in Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet, Center for Alzheimer Research and Director of Research and Development, Theme Aging, Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. Her Nordic-UK Brain Network is based also at the University of Eastern Finland, Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Imperial College, London, UK and Fingers Brain Health Institute.


The Ryman Prize jury includes:

• Professor Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
• Professor Sarah Harper CBE, Director and Clore Professor of Gerontology at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
• Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
• Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
• Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.
• Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Media advisory: For interviews with Miia Kivipelto or further information please contact Ryman Prize director David King on 03 366 4069 (00643 3664069) or 021 499 602 (006421 499 6902) david.king@rymanhealthcare.com.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 43 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 12,750 residents and the company employs 6,300 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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