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NEO Innovation Award

Climate change, sustainability and the growing world population: the major challenges of our time can only be tackled with a wealth of ideas and curiosity. This requires clever minds that are always thinking one step ahead. The NEO Innovation Award honors pioneering innovations and offers a platform for decision-makers from business and science.

On this page:

Innovations for the world of tomorrow

We need innovations more urgently than ever. They are the key to meeting the major challenges of our time, such as the energy transition, miniaturization, sustainability and the growing world population, and to securing our position in an increasingly competitive international market. Companies, institutions and scientific establishments from all over Germany and Alsace in France can apply.

You can find more information about this year's competition - from the status of the application phase to the award ceremony - on the NEO Prize event page

What are the aims of the NEO Innovation Award?

With its Innovation Award, the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion honors promising innovations with a focus on current future topics.

With the NEO, we honor innovations for the world of tomorrow. Each year is dedicated to a current topic of the future. But the NEO is more than just an award - it guarantees you an interesting platform and a lot of attention from decision-makers from business, science and local authorities.

Video of the NEO 2023 Innovation Award ceremony

These are the NEO evaluation criteria

Every year, the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion Innovation Award honors outstanding ideas on a current future topic with prize money of 20,000 euros and makes innovations visible to a wide audience. The NEO Innovation Prize is awarded according to these criteria:

  • Originality of the central idea: We look for innovative solutions that are based on a strong and clearly defined central idea and can be easily communicated to a broad public.
  • Marketability: We welcome the submission of marketable solutions that have an innovative character.
  • Social relevance and international potential: The NEO jury is looking for innovations that contribute to solving current social challenges and have the potential for international positioning.

Drivers of innovation

The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion honors innovative materials with smart and sustainable properties with the NEO Innovation Award.


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Innovation prizes

The winners so far

The previous winners differ from year to year. However, they are all united by the common vision of making tomorrow's world a better place.

  • NEO 2023: Using nanostructures against implant infections (nanoshape GmbH)
  • NEO 2022: Virus detection through image recognition using artificial intelligence (INLYSE GmbH)
  • NEO 2021: Metal 3D printing (Rosswag GmbH)
  • NEO 2020: PLAFCO - biobased and sustainable material (DHBW Karlsruhe)
  • NEO 2019: HoloMed (KIT research group)
  • NEO 2018: Mobility-promoting future districts through integrated public transport EVA shuttle buses (consortium of Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe, FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik, Robert Bosch GmbH, Ioki and TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH)
  • NEO 2017: Smart solution for mobility (Volocopter Bruchsal)
  • NEO 2016: Phontasia (Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University)
  • NEO 2015: 3D ultrasound computed tomography (KIT)
  • NEO 2014: Plug and Work - the universal interface for the factory of the future (Fraunhofer IOSB)
  • NEO 2013: MeRegio - Minimum Emission Region (EnBW AG)
  • NEO 2012: Online analysis system "ORGANOTRACE 100" (UNISENSOR Sensorsysteme GmbH)
  • NEO 2011: Inductive energy and data transmission system for wireless battery charging for cars and two-wheelers (SEW-EURODRIVE)
  • NEO 2010: Pioneering hydropower plant (Hydro-Energie Roth GmbH)

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Further topics
A meaningful job with a varied range of tasks - on this page you can find out more about the current vacancies at TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe (TRK).
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Jochen Ehlgötz
Managing Director