German Price for Innovation: Fireworks of Ideas

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report from Handelsblatt Nr. 084 of 03.05.2010 page 35 of Sebastian Matthes caries treatment without drilling, functional shirts of natural fibers and environmentally freindly produced ceramic hobs The winners of the German Price for Innovation 2010 could not be more different: At the end the jury was convinced by glass specialist Schott from Mainz, prosthetics producer DMG from Hamburg and the Thuringian startup smartfiber with innovations, that have the potential to change markets. The price, which was arranged by "Wirtschaftswoche" with the management consultancy Accenture, the energy group EnBW and the chemistry giant Evonik, was given in the categories large concern, medium sized businesses and startup. As part of a gala in the hotel Bayerischer Hof the winners as well as those companies nominated for the final round where honored on freiday in Munich. To the many prominent guests of the evening belonged Georg and Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler of the Schaeffler-Group, Siemens-CFO Joe Kaeser, Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the ifo institute, and Tina Müller, Corporate Senior Vice President of Henkel. Chairman of the price jury was "Wirtschaftswoche"-chief editor Roland Tichy. Winner in the catagory larger concerns became with Schott AG from Mainz a leading technology concern reknown worldwide. The glas specialists convinced with a technique, which allows to produce glass ceramic hobs without highly toxic heavy metals like arsenic or antimony for the first time. After more than ten years of development and optimization of the production all black cermic hobs are produced without those toxic substances. They were considerd as irreplaceable in the world wide glas ceramic production. Thus Schott beomes the forerunner of a whole line of business: "Schott proofes that sustainability has to be integrated into the core business and may not be left to gooders", praised Stephan Scholtissek, Global Managing Director of the management consultancy Accenture and member of thhe jury of the German Innovation Price. The dental specialist DMG made it on the podium of the category medium sized companies. The company convinced the jury with a new substance named icon. With that dentists may cure caries without drilling. If this liquid comes into contact with carious teeth it instantly fights the bacteria. Subsequently the substance filles the enamel and seals up the tooth. "This technique holds an innovational potential, which may become important for a whole branche", said jury member Hans-Peter Villis, head of energy supplier EnBW. DMG is already able to report considerable success: A year after the start of sales already 5000 dentists treat patients with icon. In the catagory startup smartfiber where awarded as winners. The company form Rudolstadt near Erfurt produces high tech functional fibers out of natural resources. Out of that arise for example temperature regulating shirts, that cool wanderers during summer and warm them during winter. For years outdoor outfints where mostly made of synthetics. Sometimes they even where covered with harmful chemistrys to restist wind and weather. At the same time producers of outdoor products have a target group, that "wants to live lastingly and above all healthy", said Klaus Engel, CEO of the chemistry giant Evonik and also member of the jury of the German Innovation Price. "synthetic fibers are a contradiction to that." This contradiction is solved by smarfiber. The award ceremony in Munic was at the same time prolouge for the tender of the German Innovation Price 2011. " I hope that the contest sets new impulses, so that innovational potentials are fully exploited and our country of ideas becomes even more known", thus the patron of the Innovation Price, federal minister of economics Rainer Brüderle. Approved for evaluation are concerns, medium sized companies and startupf of all industries. Besides products als business midels, processes, services and marketing instruments are awarded. Application is only possible via internet under www.der-deutsche-innovationspreis.de . german PDF-Version of the article

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