#HHIS bridging gap between research, commerce and politics

28 September 2020
Hamburg Innovation Summit 2020 highlights best practices in novel firms and start-ups - winners of Hamburg Innovation Awards

Around 800 delegates attended the entirely digital Hamburg Innovation Summit (HHIS) held under the theme of #HHIS goes virtual on Thursday (September 24, 2020). Highlights included the interactive "Waterkant Talks" during which delegates put questions to Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality and Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, as well as the presentation of the Hamburg Innovation Awards. Delegates also visited free virtual exhibitions, went on virtual tours and attended a wide range of webinars and keynotes on New Work and Health Innovation.

Best practices in New Work and Health Innovation

Commenting on the unique event, Westhagemann said: "As ambassador of the Hamburg Innovation Summit, I am  impressed by the power of this newly-created digital format. The city's innovative clout is evidenced by this successful digital event. I appreciate the overarching networking character of this event and am certain that Hamburg's future lies in collaboration and innovation. The HHIS will convey this to the world."

First on the agenda was a debate about New Work, presented by Tijen Onaran, founder of Global Digital Women. The corona pandemic is giving the issue new meaning and a positive boost, according to Christoph Magnussen, founder of  the Blackboat digital consultancy, and Nele Schön, Manager of Personnel and Development of Organisation at Gruner + Jahr. Yet, plenty of work remains to be done. Schön described new methods being used to achieve a new world of work. Asking questions and experimenting are crucial to achieving this goal. A later panel featuring DESY, Darvis, Uventions and Byonoy presented best practices in terms of "Health Innovation - Collaboration, the superpower of the future?

Glimpses of Hamburg as a centre of innovation 

The Waterkant-Talks proved particularly interesting for viewers watching the events from remote screens. Fegebank and Westhagemann fielded many questions from participants and gave insight into innovations in Hamburg and stressed the advantages and challenges of linking up commerce and science. Later, the spotlight was on nine eager finalists of the HHIA, who had linked up live for the awards ceremony. The prizes were presented by Fegebank and Westhagemann in the categories “idea, start and growth” and proved a high point of the summit. 

Prize-winners in 2020 

The Plancraft start-up won the award in the “Idea” category which honours the most promising business model. Founded by the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), the start-up won over the jury with its software for efficient order processing for craft businesses, which allows them to concentrate on their work once the orders have been settled.  

The Panda company founded by Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) triumphed in the “Start” category for fledgling companies with an innovative business idea up to a maximum of five years after its foundation. Panda’s product is a combination of hardware and software for optimizing industrial processes and uses artificial intelligence to identify the causes of malfunctions.

Wunder Mobility proved victorious in the “Growth” category as "the most innovative growth company in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region" with a success story now in its sixth year. Wunder Mobility offers innovative B2B mobility solutions that run in the background at many mobility providers worldwide.


Sources and further information

Hamburg Innovation Summit (HHIS)

First held in 2015 to boost the development of innovative plans and projects in Hamburg, the HHIS is funded by the Ministry of Economics and Innovation and organized in co-operation with Hamburg Innovation GmbH and the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank (IFB Hamburg).

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