The Dr. Charles Townes Individual Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has exhibited a sustained commitment to the advancement of technology and the community through his/her technology-oriented and innovative contributions.  Such contributions may be business, civic and/or educational in nature and must benefit the State of South Carolina.

The highest honor awarded by the InnoVision Advisory Board and Judges panel, the Dr. Charles Townes Individual Achievement Award is named in memory of Greenville, South Carolina native, Dr. Charles Townes. Dr. Townes, a graduate of Furman University, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 and the Templeton Prize in 2005. He is the only person other than the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa to win both a Nobel Prize and a Templeton Prize.