2021 German Innovation Prizes Honor Companies Big and Small

June 2021

From large corporations on down to start-ups, there’s a lot of commercial creativity at work in Germany. For the twelfth year in a row, business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, utility company EnBW and consultants Accenture have handed out the German Innovation Prizes to firms that “ensure the competitiveness of Germany as a business location amidst the global competition.” This year’s winners:

The prize for large companies went to Bosch subsidiary rexroth for developing a computer platform “ctrlX Automotion,” that networks machine controls, IT technology and the Internet of Things in a comprehensive open system. Rexroth says the system can reduce components and engineering costs by 30 to 50 percent.

The award for small- to medium-sized enterprises was claimed by electromechanical manufacturer WBT. It came up with a process known as “Physical Vapor Deposition” (PVD) to gold plate plug connectors in mass-production. The process is touted as improving corrosion protection from 20 to 80 percent.

Last but not least, taking the prize in the category start-ups was HHLA Sky, which invented the world’s first LTE system for controlling several inspection drones in parallel. It’s being used to monitor the port in the northern German city of Hamburg and to lower the times for technical inspections by 70 percent and surveillance and infrastructure tasks by 60 percent.