German Innovation Awards 2021: the winners have been decided

Frankfurt am Main, 18 May 2021

The German Design Council is distinguishing forward-thinking companies with the fourth iteration of the German Innovation Awards. They will focus on sustainable and utility-oriented solutions that combine market readiness with future potential.

The almost 700 submissions have proved how multifaceted the innovation emerging from German business is. Global transformation processes require agile solutions to provide security for pioneering markets. The German Innovation Awards support companies on their journey by giving visibility to successful innovations. 

“The jury considers user-centricity to be an important criterion in its adjudication. It is this key aspect that differentiates the German Innovation Awards from others,” explains Lutz Dietzold, CEO of the German Design Council, “Innovations that involve the future user in their product and design development have a clear competitive advantage which is also reflected over the long term in their commercial success. A growing number of businesses are recognising this and committing to corresponding methods such as ‘design thinking’ and ‘lean start-up’ when developing new products. They aim to identify genuine customer needs and develop commercially relevant products based on them. The award-winning projects are excellent examples of this, especially the digital ones.”

The innovations receiving awards include intelligent robotics solutions which can be used in the agriculture and logistics sectors to draw on new resources. The constant enhancement of smart technology also offers significant solutions for the future of transport. Groundbreaking innovation in the “Medical & Health” category shows the outstanding potential there is in the ongoing development of AI-controlled technology.

The presentation of the “Gold” distinction to the winners will be accompanied by the digital “Insights into Innovation” programme, which introduces the victorious innovations with films on seven different topics: “Smart 5.0: Connectivity, Robotics & AI”, “Future of Mobility”, “Green Future”, “Future Living & Working”, “Material Innovation”, “Lighting” and “Medical & Health”.

Two panels of experts discussed the latest trends and challenges in innovation management as well as the opportunities created for companies by using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The guests invited for the discussions were representatives of businesses, trade associations and consultancies: Larissa Niedecken (Design Lead, Co-Creating Program, Central Europe, FUJITSU), Dr Torsten Wingenter (Managing Director, Digital Catalysts), Dipl.-Ing.  Filiz Elmas (Head of Business Development, Artificial Intelligence, DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.), Dr Elias Knubben (Vice President, Corporate Research and Innovation, Festo SE & Co. KG) and Lutz Dietzold (Chief Executive Officer, German Design Council), with Ingolf Baur (physicist and science journalist) as host.

The online “Insights into Innovation” programme can be found at as of 18 May 2021.

All the “Gold” winners can be found via the following link:

Information about all the award winners can be found in our online gallery.

We are happy to put together a list of winners from your local region if you are interested. Please address enquiries to presse[at]

The German Innovation Awards – facts about the competition
A total of 680 submissions were accepted from German and international companies in a wide range of industries for the German Innovation Awards 2021, including from many well-known brands as well as hidden champions and start-ups.

The submissions were assessed by a jury made up of top-class experts from a range of disciplines, including product design, marketing, computer science, history of technology, physics, patent consulting and financial services.

The German Innovation Awards are presented in 40 categories altogether and are divided between the competition’s two classes: “Excellence in Business to Consumer” and “Excellence in Business to Business”. Furthermore, the special category of “Design Thinking” pays tribute to products developed by applying agile approaches.

The German Design Council – the organiser
The German Design Council has been operating since 1953 as one of the world’s leading centres of expertise in communication and knowledge transfer within design, branding and innovation. It is part of the worldwide design community and has always contributed to the establishment of global exchange and networking thanks to its international offering, promotion of new talent and memberships. With events, conventions, awards, jury meetings and expert committees, the German Design Council connects its members and numerous other international design and branding experts, fosters discourse and provides important stimulation for the global economy. More than 350 businesses currently count among its members.

Janine Wunder, Vice President Communications and Marketing
Tel. +49 (0)69 247 448 699
Fax +49 (0)69 247 448 700
Email presse[at]