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Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, have joined the jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, a US $4 million prize awarded annually in five categories.
Sir Richard Branson was invited to the jury for ‘his commitment to identifying entrepreneurial solutions for provoking positive change in the world’, according to a statement.
Ratan N Tata was the Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, for 21 years until his retirement in 2012. He is described as an ‘environmentalist and philanthropist’, and is the chairman of two humanitarian trusts in India.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury meeting is the culmination of a four tier process following the close of submissions.
This includes the due diligence conducted by the Prize research and analysis partners, the meeting of the Review Committee for the first shortlist, the meeting of the Selection Committee for the second and final shortlist and finally the Jury deliberations where winners of the Prize are chosen.
"Through their bold initiatives and innovative thinking, Sir Richard and Mr. Tata have already created a legacy that will serve to enhance the world we live in; this is what lies at the heart of the legacy left to us by the Prize’s namesake and founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Chaired by Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of the Republic of Iceland, the 2014 judging panel will also include Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Republic of the Maldives; Dr Han Seung-soo, former Prime Minister of Korea; Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Transportation and former Minister of Energy for South Africa; Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency; and Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of Masdar.
The prize is awarded annually in five categories – large corporation, small and medium enterprise, non-governmental organization, lifetime achievement and high schools - to companies, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change. In five years, the Prize has recognized 21 innovators and impacted communities worldwide.
Submissions for the sixth edition of the Prize will close on 5 August, 2013. Winners will be announced at the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony scheduled to be held on 20 January, 2014, as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.