The annual Ryman prize has kicked off for a third year running, casting the search for the best work around the globe that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

Launched two years ago, the NZ$250,000 Ryman Prize is one of the world’s richest prizes and is the only award of its kind which is targeted at the health of older people. The intention is to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the field of older people’s health.
The prize winner is selected by an international jury and entry is open to the brightest and best thinkers, scientists, clinicians or inventors anywhere in the world.
The prize will go to the best discovery, invention, medical advance, idea or initiative anywhere on earth that enhances quality of life for older people.
Entry for the 2017 Ryman Prize is now open at and closes at midnight on Friday, June 23 2017.
The Ryman Prize was launched in 2015 and the inaugural prize was won by Gabi Hollows, the founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Gabi set up the charity with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows, and together they worked tirelessly to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in the developing world. In the 24 years since the Hollows Foundation was established more than 1 million people have had their sight restored. The vast majority of the recipients are older people who could not have otherwise afforded to have cataract surgery.
The 2016 prize was won by Professor Henry Brodaty. Professor Brodaty is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia and his influence has been felt around the world.
Ryman Prize director David King said Gabi Hollows and Henry Brodaty were both deserving winners, and the Ryman Prize jury was looking forward to seeing this year’s entries.
“As the number of people aged 75+ in the world grows so too do the issues they face. People are living longer and their health needs are becoming more complex. We hope the Ryman Prize will not only reward people who have done great work for older people, but also spark new ideas and research.’’
The prize could go to an initiative or invention as simple as a new walking cane or mobility device, or as complex as a medical advance.
While there are plenty of prizes for research, there are none specifically aimed at the area of the health of older people. The Ryman Prize aims to fill that niche.
The prize money has been donated to The Ryman Foundation to administer.
The Ryman Prize jury includes:
  • Dr Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
  • Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dr Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.


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