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Deutscher Zukunftspreis

Virologist Professor Dr Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff and biologist Dr (rer. nat.) Holger Zimmermann were awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018 award by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the development of the drug Prevymis.

Prof. Dr Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff was a professor at the University of Frankfurt and later worked as a senior researcher at the Bayer pharmaceutical group. In 2006, she left the company and founded AiCuris GmbH in Wuppertal. Dr Holger Zimmermann is CEO of the company.
The drug developed there fights the human cytomegalovirus (CMV). One of two people carries the pathogen. Normally, people affected do not notice it because it is kept in check by their immune system. However, in certain cases, the human immune system does not work. In the case of bone marrow transplant patients, for example, the body initially no longer has its own immune defenses. For organ transplants, the immune system artificially switched off on a temporary basis, because otherwise the organ would be rejected. Without the new drug, the virus will suddenly become extremely dangerous.

Two further developments were nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018 award: A new drive system that provides a torque several times higher than that of existing systems and a new concept to store hydrogen from renewable energy sources.

Apply for Deutscher Zukunftspreis

Intellectual property protection is important for turning innovative ideas into marketable products.
According to its statutes, the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is awarded to a technical, engineering or scientific achievement that should be patentable, whose applicability must be ensured and which is highly likely to be marketable.

With the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the Federal President honours outstanding research and development projects. The jury's decision is based 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
80297 München
Fon.: +49 (0) 89 2195-4751
Dr. Andrea Hermann (personally)
Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt
80297 München
Fon: +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, which since 2017 may also come from the software and algorithms sector. The Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020 can be submitted at any time until the beginning of November 2019.

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 2019.

Detailed information is available in the following documents:

Information about the procedure is also available on the website of

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Last updated: 18/10/19 


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