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The ceremony took place for the third time in 2019. About 300 guests gathered at the Wirtschaftsclub Düsseldorf and the 20 innovators who had participated this year were selected.
The objective of the economy and innovation award is to honor and celebrate exemplary models of innovative thinking, advanced technology and commendable entrepreneurial approaches. At the ceremony in Düsseldorf on May 9, the innovators of the year were duly celebrated.This evening was dedicated to them.
And, of course, to this year’s honorary winner, Dr. Wladimir Klitschko. His second career path as facilitator of the philosophy of life „Challenge Management“ and developer of the method „F.A.C.E. the Challenge“ exemplifies actively encouraging change.

One of the compnaies among the selected innovators was FUJIFILM Europe GmbH. The European arm of the Japanese multi-technology corporation has been headquartered in Duesseldorf/Heerdt for over 50 years. It was honoured for its successful innovation management, with a focus on innovative products and services in the areas of culture, science, technology, industry, the environment and society.

“Imagine Volkswagen stops producing cars in 15 years time. That is the sort of change Fujifilm has been able to master. We have done this with the help of all our colleagues and are very proud and happy with the result”, explains Peter Struik, Managing Director Fujifilm Europe, after having received the award. The successful transformation process, for which the company was able to rely on its technological know-how, is illustrated by the current corporate branding campaign NEVER STOP. On May 9th 2019, the Innovator of the Year awards were presented at a ceremony at the Business Club Duesseldorf. Michael Oelmann, initiator of the award and editor in chief of DDW, moderated the event. “We are not simply honouring examples of exceptional innovation, but are trying to encourage companies of all sizes and in all fields to channel the innovative spirit necessary to stay ahead of the curve.” 
In addition to the 20 companies honoured as Innovator of the Year for meeting change with innovation, the honorary award went to Dr. Wladimir Klitschko. The former heavyweight boxing world champion has done an exceptional job of transitioning from being a professional athlete to an entrepreneur. Today, he teaches his method of challenge management, as part of a degree in CAS Change & Innovation Management which he initiated, at the University of St. Gallen.  

For example AAA Efficiency: as a completely easily installable modular module, this technology converts residual heat into CO2 neutral electricity. The method allows the usage of minimal residual waste heat, which as yet has not found use, even by existing energy recovery systems. The result is the most CO2-neutral power supply imaginable, because it is powered by „waste heat“ instead of generating electricity. Furthermore, it can be produced at much lower cost than any other power-generating method such as coal-fired power plants, gas-fired power plants, nuclear power plants, photovoltaics or wind turbines. 
 Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, also provides a specific solution with its high-power charging technology. The company’s HPC Charging Plug will soon make it possible to charge an electric car in only three to five minutes for 100 kilometers of range. This will make charging a car almost as quick as the conventional visit to the gas station. The company has developed innovative technology that could become a key component towards the mobility of the future. Because, no matter how fast plans are discussed when it comes to reforming mobility: for the structural expansion including charging stations and a comparable convenience to conventional refueling, not only patience and goodwill but also a lot of money and above all engineering excellence is needed.  

This years award showed also, that the economy is already expanding in many areas, pushing energy efficiency and climate protection forward with concrete technological solutions. Whether it is the new generation of pumps ‘Magna3’ by Grundfos, with its new function that offers an energy-saving maximum value called FlowLimit for the flowrate, or energy efficiency „as a service“ on the new MEERX platform: Several of the „Innovators of the Year 2019“ are focusing on aspects of environmental protection. Two solutions which clearly aim at sustainability even won the audience awards: AAA Efficiency and Phoenix Contact E-Mobility.