The Innovation Award of German Industry, awarded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy is given every year to companies that contribute significant technical, scientific, intellectual, and entrepreneurial innovations to the German economy. The awards date back to 1979 and is regarded as the earliest innovation awards in the world.
Innovation in a broad sense means “renewal and change.” Under these awards innovation goes beyond invention or discovery and extends to implementation of a technical or organisational innovation.
The companies vying for the awards are divided into four categories:
1. Large companies, employing more than 5,000 employees, or with turnover in excess of € 1 billion
2. Companies with innovative HR concept, which is relevant for the entire value chain of the company, is already implemented at least partially, and the results of which are measurable.
3. Medium-sized companies, employing less than 5,000 employees, and having a group participation of maximum of 25 percent
4. Start -up companies, not older than 10 years, employing less than 50 employees, and having a group participation of maximum of 25 percent
The winner in each of the four categories receive an artistically valued stainless steel sculpture created by Bernd Fischer, the noted sculpture and painter. The names of the winners in each category every year are engraved to the sculpture. The winners receive the right to use this award and also the logo and the brand of the Innovation Award in their advertising. The winner of the Innovative HR concept category receives an additional support plate as well.
The winners of the Innovation Award of the German economy 2014 were announced at a gala festival held on Saturday, 15 March 2014, at the Cultural House of the Frankfurt Palm Garden. The event was graced by about 600 guests from business, science, politics, and society.
BMW AG won the prize for the large enterprises, for the energy-saving production of chlorine by using oxygen-consuming cathodes. The other nominees who missed out in this category were Airbus Operations GmbH, Bayer MaterialScience AG, and Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co.
AFC won the prize for companies with innovative HR concepts, for its social and green IT concept. The other nominees who missed out in this category were Evonik Industries AG, Fischer GmbH & Co., and Vodafone GmbH.
DELO Industrial Adhesives won the prize for the medium size company category, for innovating an optimal display and touch panel production using high-tech adhesives. Other nominees who missed out in this category were Eberle GmbH & Co, Sikom Software GmbH, and Wurth Elektronik ICS GmbH.
Abberior instrument won the prize for the start-up category, for its implementation of multicolor live cell light microscopy with nanoscale resolution. Other nominees who missed out in this category were Ceramic Fuel Cells GmbH, Fiagon GmbH, and ParStream GmbH.
In addition to these prizes, Jeff Bezos, founder and president of Amazon.com, Inc., received a special award for „Most Innovative CEO International“.
These widely-recognised awards go a long way in kindling healthy competition among companies, to innovate their way to economic glory. More at innovationspreis.com.