Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment awarded: BMUB and BDI recognize innovative companies

Yesterday the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) awarded the German Innovation Prize for Climate and the Environment (IKU). Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI executive board, awarded prize winners in six categories. Outstanding environmental innovations by German companies and research institutions were rewarded. The basis for the jury decision was the scientific assessment of the submitted applications by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.

© Kruppa/IKU
The prize winners of the German Innovation Prize for Climate and the Environment 2015.

Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks said, “The inventiveness and the commitment to innovation are among the biggest triumphs of our environmental and climate policy. Together we will show that we take the lead on climate protection and still remain a strong industrial nation. The innovations we award today show that ambitious environmental protection strengthens German industry“.

Holger Lösch pointed to the pioneering role of German industry for word wide innovative environmental and climate protection technologies. The prizewinners of the IKU impressively demonstrated this once again. Holger Lösch said, “In future Germany will have to rely on such innovative leaps much more to maintain prosperity and growth“. Politics can and must support this and in future has to monitor the impacts of their policy actions on the innovative capacity of enterprises more closely“.

This year the prestigious Prize for Climate and the Environment (IKU) was awarded for the fifth time by the BMUB and BDI together. The prize money amounts to 25,000 euros. The winners were chosen by a distinguished jury chaired by Professor Klaus Töpfer. First of all the submitted applications were scientifically assessed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and innovation Research ISI.

The winners of the IKU Award 2015:

  • In the category “Process innovations for climate protection“ Clariant Produkte GmbH was awarded. The company developed a process which produces cellulosic ethanol from agricultural waste material in a climate-friendly and sustainable way.
  • Two companies, geoKOAX GmbH and Aqua-Concept GmbH received the prize in the category „Product and Service Innovations for Climate Protection“ for a joint development: An innovative geothermal probe makes it possible to use geothermal energy also in drinking water protection zones and very small properties.
  • In the category “Environmentally friendly Technologies“ RWE Germany AG was honored. The company integrated a superconductive 10 kilo volt cable, which is 1 kilometer long into the city center of Essen in order to save surface and resources as well as transmission and conversion losses.
  • Wilhelms GmbH developed a production process for soil micro organisms (fungi) which is suitable for mass production. Their addition to the seeds can save large amounts of fertilizer and as a result received the award in the category “Environmentally friendly Products and Services”.
  • Industrial Solar GmbH won in the category “Climate and Environmental Protection Technology Transfer in Developing and Emerging Countries and Eastern European Countries“. It developed a marketable solar thermal system based on Fresnel collectors. It is marketed by a partner business model which is linked to the technology transfer for the production of the collectors on site.

This year, in addition to the awards in the five IKU categories, the jury awarded the special prize “Innovation and Biological Diversity“. The Federal Ministry for the Environment and BDI thus honor innovations which serve climate and environmental protection by improving biodiversity. The special prize was awarded to Baumann Hydrotec GmbH & Co. KG for the hydro fish lift. This ladder for fish, which do not need a lot of space, can also overcome great differences in height. 

The IKU is funded under the National Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment. More detailed information on the prize winners and all nominated companies for this year’s innovation price for climate and the environment can be found in the news room of the IKU on:

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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