The Chairman of the jury, Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg looks optimistically at the competition entries: "I am interested to see what innovations are found in Saxony Anhalt and how the companies introduce their know how in a forward-looking way,“ says the Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, Ilmenau. The expert in audio and multimedia technology is very well versed in the development and research of new technologies. Together with two colleagues, he developed the MP3 format and was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the further development of Germany as a research location in 2009 with his appointment to the "Hall of Fame of German Research".
Regina Mehler, who assesses the competition entries as the marketing expert, gives the following advice: "Entrepreneurs should seize their opportunity, for it is not just for the victors that participation in the competition is essential added value as far as marketing is concerned.“ As Director of the Marketing Department for Central Europe at Adobe Systems, she has over 20 years of marketing experience in the IT sector and has specialised in innovative marketing strategies, amongst other things.
The jury is also supported by Dr. Efstratia Zafeiriou. The Greek native is completing three teaching assignments on the subject of trend and innovation research in St. Gallen (CH), Munich and Tongji Shanghai. She knows how important it is for companies to recognise trends early and bring them to the market. "This doesn't just include courage and perseverance, but, most importantly, a targeted strategy," says the innovation researcher, who has been responsible for the AUDI AG China Strategy and the AUDI Tongji partnership since 2008.
Dr. Michael Brandkamp is taking part for the second time. The Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds praises the promotion of innovation by the State Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs. He considers it to be important for a region to give companies the opportunity to present themselves and their achievements to the public in such a competition. Of course, financial funding, for example the prize money of 10,000 Euros, also plays a role. Michael Brandkamp was active as the Head of Department for Innovation Financing and as the Investment Manager. Today, he provides funding with the Gründerfonds High-Tech company to make innovations possible.
Another member of the jury is Martin Ertl, Chief Innovation Officer at Bombardier Transportation in Berlin. At AUDI and BMW, he learned to use various strategies to find trends, innovations and developments early that bring sustainable economic successes for companies. "Ideas and, above all, a curiosity about research form the basis for innovation. Far-reaching innovations have arisen from many an insignificant deliberation.“
It is not only the five jurors who should be excited about the competition, which is taking place for the tenth time. As the Commissioner for Innovation, Dr. Reiner Haseloff expects a number of applicants from companies from the whole of Saxony Anhalt. "The State Government does everything in its power to support the innovation process. For we only remain competitive if we can score points with innovative products“, says Haseloff.
This year, the prize is awarded in the category of Special Prize Life's Work for the first time, in which entrepreneurs are awarded for many years of interdisciplinary activity, for curiosity about research, passion and dedication. Prizes are also awarded for the most innovative product development, the most innovative alliance and the most innovative breach of the rules. Prize money of 10,000 Euros is awarded in each of the four categories.
Companies and alliances based in Saxony Anhalt can take part in the competition until 31st August 2010. Information on the Hugo Junkers Innovation prize and on the application can be accessed online at www.innovationspreis-sachsen-anhalt-2010.de. Further information on the competition can be obtained from:
MDKK Mitteldeutsche Kommunikations- und Kongressgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Tel: 0391 / 53 53 92 82