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Prof. ten Hompel receives Innovation Award of the State of NRW

October 27, 2020 12:11

Massive investments in digitalization and a fourfold increase in the budget for innovation are intended to strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia as a center of business and knowledge and drive forward the state's renewal. This was emphasized by Innovation Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart before the tenth presentation of the Innovation Award of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf in the evening. Since 2008, scientists and scholars have been honored for outstanding research work. Pinkwart presented this year's honorary award winner Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael ten Hompel to journalists. Economics and Innovation Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart: "North Rhine-Westphalia is a power house for innovations. Excellent universities, innovative medium-sized and large companies and a lively, creative start-up scene drive the renewal of the economy and society. Since 2017, we have quadrupled our funding for innovation and will be investing more than ten billion euros in digitization from public funds alone by 2025 to accelerate modernization. On top of this comes private investment, for example in expanding broadband mobile communications and gigabit networks.

The previous award winners are ambassadors for our innovative competencies in North Rhine-Westphalia. The whole of society benefits from their diverse innovations, e.g. in the fields of biofuels, cyber security, cancer therapy, artificial intelligence, compostable plastics or resource-saving oil filters. This year's honorary award winner is an outstanding personality who continues this tradition: Prof. Michael ten Hompel is a unique innovator of modern logistics and a pioneer of Industry 4.0. The European Blockchain Institute in Dortmund, which he initiated and which is supported by the state, is a key to the innovative further development of the sector and strengthens the logistics location North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany. We can be a little proud that Prof. ten Hompel is contributing to the renewal of the economy and society and to the creation of jobs with his energy, creative power and creativity from Dortmund".

Prof. ten Hompel holds the chair for materials handling and warehousing at the Technical University of Dortmund and is managing director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML). He shaped the automated shuttle technology in logistics. Thanks to his research and commitment, Europe's most important logistics cluster, the EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr, has been put into practice. Together with his team from the Fraunhofer Institute IML, Prof. ten Hompel pushed ahead with the establishment of a European Blockchain Institute, which the state government is now funding with 7.7 million euros. The block chain technology stores data decentrally, securely and transparently. This enables companies to share data securely among themselves at eye level. Practical research into the technology has great potential across all industries.

Top-level research "Made in NRW

The innovation state of North Rhine-Westphalia can build on many strengths: This is shown by the new innovation report presented on 15.10.2020. The state leads Germany in the number of patent applications in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical technologies, polymer technology, organic fine chemistry, materials technology/metallurgy, metal chemistry and construction technologies. Numerous research institutions are working on future fields such as the bio-economy, ICT and electromobility. The positive developments in university spin-offs, the nationwide digital infrastructure and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises are further strengths that we can exploit and expand.

With the North Rhine-Westphalia Innovation Award, the state government honors scientists and researchers who provide answers to the major challenges of our time with outstanding research. Since 2008, with few exceptions, a renowned jury of experts has selected award winners in the categories "Honorary Award", "Young Scientists" and "Innovation" from hundreds of applications every year.

Press contact: Matthias.Kietzmann@mwide.nrw.de, Image: © MWIDE NRW​/​Susanne Kurz.


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