German Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka presents CeBIT Innovation Award 2016

Date: Tue, 03/15/2016 - 18:42

German Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka presents CeBIT Innovation Award 2016
This year, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Deutsche Messe AG have presented the CeBIT Innovation Awards, with their total prize money of 100,000 euros, for the fourth time. The awards went, as in the preceding years, to three particularly outstanding innovations in the field of user-oriented and data-protection-sensitive IT development

The main prize of 50,000 euros went to Felix Kosmalla and Frederik Wiehr from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) GmbH in Saarbrücken for their development called "climbtrack". The use of "climbtrack" enables, by way of augmented reality, the documentation of climbers' training progress and of routes already negotiated during training on climbing walls. Mr Kosmalla and Mr Wiehr accepted their award from Federal Research Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka as part of the first "CeBIT Welcome Night" on the evening of the fair's opening day.
Second place, which was rewarded with prize money of 30,000, was bestowed on the two Hildesheim-based developers Amelie Künzler and Sandro Engel from Urban Invention GbR. Ms Künzler and Mr Engel presented their "ActiWait" system to the jury as an innovative tool for using pedestrian crossings as digital communication hotspots during the waiting phases.
For their particularly innovative encryption technology, Tobias Hagemann and Sebastian Stenzel were given the special prize for usable security and privacy together with its prize money of 20,000 euros. With their application "Cryptomator", the two Bonn-based developers have provided reliable client-side open-source encryption for cloud storage that can be used irrespective of platforms and is suitable especially for users who are relatively inexperienced in technological matters.

Wanka: "Awards winners set standards"
The fourth year of award presentations at the CeBIT Innovation Award offered software developers, engineers and design researchers from all over Germany the opportunity to submit software concepts and hardware tools for enhancing the user-friendliness of IT applications.
At the awards ceremony in Hanover, German Federal Research Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka underlined the growing significance of German IT research, also internationally, as well as the creativity of the promising researchers active in Germany: "More and more areas of our lives would be unthinkable without the use of modern information and communication technologies. This makes it all the more important to have intuitive usability for broad strata of the population and data protection mechanisms that not only experts, but also consumers can rely on. I am glad that the CeBIT Innovation Award's winners are again setting standards with their developments here in 2016."
In the run-up to this year's awards ceremony, Gesche Joost – chair of the jury, Professor at Berlin University of the Arts, and the Federal Government's Internet Ambassador – also highlighted the thematic breadth of the three award-winning contributions: "With the submissions on show, we jury members have again received an impressive overview of the creativity, performance capacity and thematic breadth of the research being carried out in this country in the field of software development from the usability and data-protection standpoints. The exhibits from the three award-winning teams in 2016 show that user-friendliness and data protection, far from being mutually exclusive in the IT sector, can reciprocally necessitate and promote each other."

Ideas find applications – the next competitive round is at the starting blocks
Every year, the trade fair metropolis in Lower Saxony becomes a big shop window for global digital change. This is the spirit in which the CeBIT sees its own commitment as name-giver. "At the CeBIT, we can experience a digital change that is pushed by young and creative ideas and incentives. I am delighted to observe how German developers not only keep up in many fields, but even act as pacemakers for innovations", says Oliver Frese, board member at Deutsche Messe. The CeBIT Innovation Award offers participants an impressive stage for marketing their own ideas: a stage that is already prepared for next year as well, as the invitation for submissions to the CeBIT Innovation Award 2017 will begin as early as 15 March 2016. The closing date for applications is 15 June 2016.

About the CeBIT Innovation Award's jury
In 2017, too, all of the submissions will be assessed by a high-calibre jury:
- Jury chair, Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, Berlin University of the Arts
- Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André, University of Augsburg
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Boll-Westermann, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg
- Oliver Frese, Deutsche Messe AG
- Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Lukas, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
- Nikolaus Röttger, editor-in-chief of the German edition of "WIRED" magazine
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbrücken

Above, Federal Research Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka
Image credite to CeBIT

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