IKU: 15 projects with brains nominated for Innovation Award Climate and Environment

For the sixth time, the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) awarded the coveted IKU environmental prize with a total prize money of 125,000 euros. 133 companies competed with their products and services for prizes in five categories as well as for the special prize “Innovation and Biodiversity“, which was awarded for the second time. The jury's decision was based on the scientific evaluation of the applications by Fraunhofer ISI.

“Innovations are the foundation for tomorrow's industry. This is the only way for companies to survive in international competition“, says BDI President Dieter Kempf. Producing companies want to remain reliable problem solvers in climate and environmental protection. Kempf emphasizes: “The Innovation Award for Climate and Environment emphasizes that environmental and climate protection requires an innovative industry.“

Federal Environment Minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks states: “The award shows that innovation made in Germany also makes climate and environmental protection better. Better processes, products and services at the same time strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy and create sustainable jobs in Germany.“

The high-ranking jury chaired by Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, including Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, has nominated 15 innovations from the categories climate-friendly process innovations, product and service innovations, environmentally friendly technologies, eco-friendly products and services as well as climate and environmental protection technology transfer in developing and emerging countries and in Eastern European countries. These now have the chance to win an award at the award ceremony on 21 February 2018 in Berlin. This year again, the special prize “Innovation and Biodiversity“ will be awarded to innovations that help protect the climate and the environment by improving biodiversity.

The jury's decision was based on the scientific evaluation of a total of 133 applications submitted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.

The IKU is funded by the National Climate Protection Initiative of the Federal Environment Ministry. Further information: www.iku-innovationspreis.de and http://newsroom-iku-innovationspreis.de.

The 15 nominated candidates for the final round:

  • The AGS process technology, Stade, convinced with an innovative technique for power grid expansion: the lift-assisted laying technique. It enables a sustainable, cost-effective laying of ultra-long (over 2 kilometers) and active cooling of ultra-thin (shorter than 2 meters path width) underground cables.
  • The Verein Christliche Fachkräfte International (CFI), Stuttgart, together with its partner Ndejje Universität Maisspindeln, uses maize spindles as waste biomass for the production of briquettes in Uganda in order to reduce deforestation and increase the country's biodiversity, health and energy efficiency.
  • Creapaper GmbH from Hennef was able to process grass fibres as raw material for paper production purely mechanically and without chemical additives in order to develop more environmentally friendly paper.
  • Through the innovation of the Green Dot (DSD – Duales System Holding, Cologne) plastic waste from the household collection is recycled to transparent sales packaging for cleaning agents. This closed-loop recycling without the use of new plastics saves valuable raw materials and significant amounts of CO₂ emissions.
  • The eChiller process cooling system from Efficient Energy GmbH in Feldkirchen uses up to 80 percent less electrical energy than conventional refrigeration machines, depending on the application.
  • In cooperation with VTD Vakuumtechnik Dresden GmbH and Federal Mogul Burscheid GmbH, Fraunhofer IWS, Dresden, developed a process that makes piston rings with super-hard layers less friction-poor.
  • LANXESS, Cologne, together with its customer, HELLER-LEDER GmbH & Co KG, produces tanning agents from by-products of leather production in decentralized facilities directly in tanneries according to the new x-biomer manufacturing process. This saves fossil raw materials, waste and large quantities of energy for spray drying and transport.
  • MAHLE, Stuttgart, Germany, enables the long-awaited use of CO₂ air-conditioning systems in production cars through components such as evaporators, gas coolers and accumulators as well as a deep understanding of the system.
  • The Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG from Albstadt convinced with the spinitsystems technology, which replaces three conventional machines in the spinning and knitting process of textile production with a single machine, thus saving energy and raw materials.
  • MicroEnergy International GmbH, Berlin, has developed the concept of swarm electrification, which is carried out together with its subsidiary ME SOLshare Ltd. in Bangladesh. Existing solar panels from neighboring households are connected with the help of intelligent controllers (SOLbox) and enable a decentralised network structure. The solar power produced can thus be used more extensively and sold between households.
  • Renewables Academy AG (RENAC), Berlin, promotes the markets for green energy and climate protection through capacity building in the financial sector of emerging markets. Its approach to knowledge transfer on renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as on international financing instruments helps to stimulate appropriate investments.
  • Together with Texas Instruments Deutschland GmbH, Fraunhofer EMFT and Muegge GmbH, Solvay Fluor GmbH has developed the ecoFluor process for cleaning coating chambers in semiconductor production, which does without the use of climate-damaging gases and at the same time reduces energy consumption.
  • With Clean Peptide Technology (CPT), Sulfotools GmbH, Darmstadt, invented a new process for the production of peptides in which toxic organic solvents are replaced by water by the modification of protective groups.
  • With its ESyCool green system for food retailing, Viessmann Kühlsysteme GmbH from Hof/Saale is saving electricity by implementing the entire energy management system for cooling the refrigerated shelves and building heating via small, hermetically sealed heat pumps using the fluorine-free refrigerant R290 (propane).
  • The watttron GmbH, Freital, developed cera2heat, a new heating system for thermoforming processes for the production of packaging such as yoghurt cups. This saves 30 percent each of plastic and heating energy.

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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