Winners 2018

On 17 September, the winners of the inaugural University Innovation Challenge were chosen in a ceremony at Frankfurt’s Goethe University.



The INERATEC founders have developed microstructured synthesis reactors in compact table-sized units that hold the key to decentralised chemical processes. They offer a high degree of load flexibility, allow entire processes to be started up and shut down in just a few minutes, and involve an investment volume that is around 1/10 of that required for comparable conventional systems. Containerised systems equipped with INERATEC’s reactor technology generate renewable fuel, allowing them to contribute to the ongoing transition to clean energy sources.

Future Living


vilisto develops and distributes self-learning radiator thermostats that optimise heat use in office premises and administrative buildings, thus potentially cutting heating costs by up to 40%. Their AI-based proprietary technology, which combines self-learning algorithms with integrated occupancy detection, automatically turns radiators down when no one is in the room, while existing occupancy data enables it to predict user behaviour and thereby reduce energy consumption.

Future Life Science


inveox digitises and automates pathology labs, thereby increasing the safety and reliability of cancer diagnoses while also optimising efficiency and profitability. The system comprises an intelligent sample container for biopsy tissue, an automated processing machine and a highly secure Web app for transferring data between the patient’s physician and the pathology lab. The integration of these three components allows the seamless automation of data entry (previously conducted manually), the otherwise error-prone transfer of samples from transport containers to tissue cassettes, and their clear and permanent labelling via laser technology.



ChemSquare is a digital platform for life science supplies which optimises sales and ordering processes, giving buyers greater transparency regarding possible suppliers and offerings. It also allows suppliers to find new customers more effectively and process existing clients’ orders more quickly. Based on state-of-the-art technology, the platform’s proprietary system enables ChemSquare to respond to individual industry requirements.



Bipolymer Systeme are using patented bipolymers to develop heat engines that convert heat into electricity more cost-effectively than comparable technologies. This enables chemical industry customers to save electricity and cut production costs, while also allowing private households to generate their own electricity more cheaply than with photovoltaics. Users also benefit from supplementary heating and hot water generation. The start-up uses solar modules for domestic customers and low-temperature waste heat (< 200°C) in industry.

Special Award: Future Data Intelligence


Using blockchain technology, Bernstein allows companies to create a digital record trail for their innovation processes. Customers can quickly and easily register inventions, designs and proofs of use, in return obtaining blockchain certificates that prove an IP asset’s ownership, existence and integrity. Thanks to a unique cryptographic key, all notarised information remains completely private. Blockchain technology is ideally suited to registering public and private records and makes for a notarisation platform that is decentralised, uncensorable, permissionless and resilient.