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Deutscher Zukunftspreis

The founders of the software start-up Celonis SE, Alexander Rinke, Martin Klenk and Bastian Nominacher were awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2019 award by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the development of an innovative tool for analysing business processes.

Celonis offers a tool for digital transformation and future value creation in companies worldwide, referred to as "process mining”, which its three founders already started to develop as students at the Technical University of Munich. Process mining can be used to analyse in real time how business processes defined in a company are actually being managed in practice. Where are the vulnerabilities, bottlenecks, inefficiencies? Celonis software will detect them – even in companies with highly complex process chains. This opens up new opportunities for small enterprises as well as medium-sized and large companies to identify potential for efficiencies and expedite processes. Thus, for example, it helps to use less material in manufacturing processes, to ensure that more trains and planes arrive on time and to reduce the waiting time for patients in hospitals.

Two further developments were nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2019 award: a technology that utilises climate-damaging carbon dioxide as a raw material for high-quality plastics and a 7 Tesla MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner which, compared to previous technologies, achieves imaging with much higher resolution for clinical diagnostics.

Apply for Deutscher Zukunftspreis

With the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the Federal President honours outstanding research and development projects and recognises forward-looking technologies. The protection of these innovations paves the way to successful marketable products. The jury's decision is based essentially on the scientific and technical degree of innovation and the potential to translate this achievement into sustainable jobs. The renowned technology prize is endowed with 250,000 euros and will be presented personally by the Federal President.

Take your Chance


Dr. Stefan Kaiser (personally)
Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt
D-80297 München
Telephone: +49 (0) 89 2195-4751
Dr. Andrea Hermann (personally)
Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt
D-80297 München
Telephone: +49 (0) 89 2195-3581

As a team of researchers and developers, draw attention to your innovation and let us know about your ideas and projects in the fields of engineering and natural sciences. Submissions for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2021 can be filed at any time until early November 2020.

As an institution entitled to submit proposals, we nominate up to three interesting projects to the jury. Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, is a member of the Board of Trustees, which determines the direction of the selection decisions.

Your contact persons at DPMA are Dr. Stefan Kaiser and Dr. Andrea Hermann.

The closing date for submitting your complete application is November 4th 2020.

Detailed information is available in the following documents (in German):

Information about the procedure is also available on the website of

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Last updated: 20 October 2020 


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