Award-winning innovations – large and small

Inventing new technical devices and processes forms the basis of Baden-Württemberg´s economy. Carl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Robert Bosch, Ferdinand Porsche, Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin and Margarete Steiff – the Who´s Who of inventors in Swabia is one of the world´s finest. This engine of innovation is driven by a variety of awards, competitions and prizes. It starts in schools and vocational schools and culminates in awards supported by the State of Baden-Württemberg.

Pupils from Baden-Württemberg are traditionally represented strongly in the “Jugend forscht” (“Youth researches”) competition. Most recently, two 18-year-olds – Patrick Ziesel (18), an apprentice at Andreas Stihl AG, and Joshua Rikker, an apprentice at Robert Bosch GmbH from Waiblingen – won the national “working world” category for their invention of a portable wood splitter.

Artur Fischer didn´t just invent the dowel. Together with the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, he also founded the Artur Fischer Erfinderpreis Baden-Württemberg (inventor prize) in 2001. In the 2013 schools competition, Gerrit Anders won the secondary schools category for his development of a simplified synthesis process for producing graphs – the miracle cure of the future for wafer-thin coatings. Winner in the “private inventors” category 2013 was Dr Lothar Saiger, with his washing system for dentist drills.

Since 1985, the Dr Rudolf Eberle Prize has been awarded annually by the State of Baden-Württemberg to industrial, craft and technology services SMEs based in the region, for exemplary achievements in the development of new products, procedures and technologies or for their applications. The award acknowledges outstanding efforts by SMEs to develop and apply new technologies. The main winner in 2012 was the company Neher Systeme from Frittlingen, for their high-tech invention Transpatec, an almost invisible insect protection fabric.

The common goal and purpose of these awards and competitions is to support and value the state´s traditional spirit of invention and ready innovation, and to make its achievements accessible and available to the public.