Press Releases

Essilor Announces Finalists in See Change Challenge to Improve Access to Vision Care in Underserved Populations

Three Winning Innovators Awarded €25,000 Each and Advance to Final Phase

Essilor, world leader in ophthalmic optics, and NineSigma, global innovation firm, announced today that three innovators have been chosen to move to the final phase in the Essilor See Change Challenge. The purpose of this worldwide initiative is to discover solutions that can improve lives by providing better access to vision care. The three finalists will each be awarded €25,000 in cash. They include:

・Adaptive EyeWorks Bvba, Belgium
・TEAMS Design USA, Inc., USA

A special Grand Jury Prize will also be awarded to PlenOptika in the United States for their QuickSee handheld autorefractor unit solution.

The finalists are invited to produce a prototype of their solution that will be evaluated by Essilor. Ultimately, up to two of them will each receive an additional €100,000 and potential support from Essilor with development contracts to build and scale their solutions.

Over 2.5 billion individuals worldwide are affected by the social and economic consequences of poor vision, and over 90% percent of them live in developing countries where it is difficult to access basic vision care. The See Change Challenge aims to uncover low-cost, scalable solutions that make primary vision care training and delivery easier and faster.

“Poor vision is a global public health issue and Essilor is committed to improving the lives of people everywhere by improving their sight,” said Hubert Sagnières, Chairman and CEO, Essilor. “We are excited that the See Change Challenge has helped us uncover new scalable approaches that can help improve access to primary vision care in underserved communities.”

Grand Challenges like the See Change Challenge are a form of Open Innovation, which helps organizations to address global social issues by leveraging new technologies through a crowdsourcing approach. These public challenges tap into a worldwide community of scientific and technical experts with actionable solutions. Solution providers are able to earn prize money, achieve visibility for their solutions, and create new channels to further their work.

Solution providers in fifteen countries submitted proposals that included apps that run on smartphones, separate devices that work with smartphones, and devices that do not require computing power. These innovators had backgrounds in areas such as optical engineering, software development, public health and design.

“We are pleased to be working with Essilor on this important challenge. These innovators have risen to the top with their creative, portable solutions that have the ability to change the way people gain access to eye care. It is exciting to see solution providers apply their technologies to our increasingly mobile world,” said Andy Zynga, CEO, NineSigma.

Up to two winners will be selected and announced by Essilor in July 2017. For more information and updates on the challenge, please visit

About Essilor
The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Eyezen™, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, Bolon™ and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals. Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €7.1 billion in 2016 and employs 64,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 33 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 5 research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit

The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.
Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP

About NineSigma
NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. Learn more at or

Press Contacts
Mailis Thiercelin, Essilor Corporate Communications,,
+33 1 49 77 42 66

Dawn Ringel, Warner Communications,, 781-449-8456

go to top