Companies can only stay successful if they innovate and know how to adapt to changing market demands and competition. To support the process, from finding the idea and turning it into a marketable product, as well as to stimulate new ideas, ever since 1993 Fraunhofer IPA has been offering three internal innovation awards. These are awarded under the patronage of the former president of Fraunhofer and director of the IPA institute, Professor Hans-Jürgen Warnecke. The awards are presented during a ceremony on the annual Innovation Day which is held at Fraunhofer IPA. At the same time, current research highlights at IPA are also presented, as well as best practice examples of the commercial utilization of the technical developments.
Applications for the Hans-Jürgen Warnecke Innovation Award can be submitted by any scientific employee working either at Fraunhofer IPA or at one of the affiliated university institutes of IFF, ISW, IfW and EEP. The topics must be developed at Fraunhofer IPA or in collaboration with IPA customers. The six best suggestions from all written applications submitted reach the final selection stage and are presented on the Innovation Day. An external jury decides who will receive the award. Evaluation criteria include customer benefit, creativity and procedure, methodical and scientific approach, benefits for Fraunhofer IPA, as well as the form and quality of the written application and the oral presentation.