Deep Tech Award Berlin 2020

The Deep Tech Award 2019 will be awarded by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises for the fourth time.

Deep Tech Award Berlin 2020

Within the scope of the country’s initiative Projekt Zukunft and the campaign Deep Tech Berlin, the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises organises the Deep Tech Award 2020.

The Deep Tech Award 2020 is co-financed by the Europäischer Fond für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) [European fund for regional development]. Proven solutions and those focussing on applications will be awarded as well as products based on soft and/or hardware that stand out for a high degree of innovation and offer a great potential for the future

Betül Özdemir
Betül Özdemir

IKT-Wirtschaft, Digitalisierung


Berlin as a global metropolis has developed to become the leading location for information- and communication technologies in Germany and Europe. Information- and communication technologies are key technologies for the business location Berlin. They encourage innovations, promote an increase in productivity and also contribute to secure economic growth, prosperity, and work places for the future.

The growth rate of the Berlin ICT industry continues to be high above average. In this respect, in 2018, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry registered up to 4,300 new companies in the ICT-sector in Berlin, representing almost of fifth of the overall turnover of the manufacturing industry in Berlin.

The ICT industry is a pioneer of digital transformation. In order to design the digital transformation successfully, an innovative hardware, above all, is decisive in combination with good software.

Berlin, as an open, young and dynamic metropolis for start-ups in the digital industry and for a great number of software development specialists, offers ideal prerequisites and conditions as a location for development. Apart from start-ups, many highly specialised small- and medium-sized enterprises have successfully positioned themselves on the market for quite a while by now.

Trend-setting technologies of the ICT-sector such as Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, mobile applications, IT-security, Artificial Intelligence and blockchains become increasingly more important for companies to be competitive and offer a high market potential.

The increasing demand for products and solutions in the ICT-sector can develop into an important driver of growth for Berlin. At the same time, developing relevant solutions and products also bears a high risk for the enterprises facing special challenges such as long development processes, high innovation costs and the risk of having to combine hardware and software components.

The Deep Tech Award 2020 is to honour the innovation force of ambitious start-ups and established enterprises and generate additional awareness for ICT-solutions and -products “Made in Berlin“ .

Subject of the Competition

Solutions and products can come from the following areas:

  • Devices, Device Management, Embedded Systems
  • Sensors & Actuators
  • Networks (Low-Power/Short-Range, Low-Power/Wide-Area)
  • Processors & Architectures
  • Operating Systems
  • Platforms
  • Analytical Tools, Algorithms, Event Stream Processing and Analysing Models
  • Standards & APIs
  • Safety Systems for Devices, Operating systems, Platforms & Communication Paths
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Solutions & Technologies
  • Industry 4.0-solutions & Technologies
  • IoT solutions & Technologies
  • Blockchain/Distributed-Ledger Solutions and Technologies
  • “Social“ Deep Techs (Deep Tech solutions with added values regarding social or sustainable subjects)


Time frame

1st April, 2020
Announcement of the appeal and start of the deadline for submission

30 June, 2020
Final submission date

End of August, 2020 (tbc)
Announcing the winners and award ceremony

Prizes and prize money

The competition remunerates altogether up to 60,000.00 Euros (financed by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises as well as by means from the EU/ EFRE. Each Deep Tech category (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Blockchain and Digital Security) is awarded a “Deep Tech Star“.

In addition to the so far existing categories, there is the category “Social Tech“ resp. the award as a “Social Tech Star“. “Social Tech“ is created in all areas of our society and is slowly developing into a business model of the 21st century. From health via education right up to sustainable energy alternatives, Social Techs offer social or sustainable innovations that turn the world into a slightly better place.


The winners will be awarded by the following jury members:

  • Fabian J. G. Westerheide, CEO at Asgard Capital Verwaltung GmbH
  • Jack Thoms, Co-spokesman at DFKI Berlin
  • Claudia Pohlink, Head of AI/ML bei T-Labs
  • Peter Udo Diehl, Founder of Audatic
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katarina Adam, Professor at the HTW
  • Christoph Haupenthal, Head of the Institute for Applied Blockchain
  • Regine Haschka-Helmer, CEO Seedlab GmbH
  • Moritz von Plate, VP Business Development at ABB Power Grids
  • Harald Zapp, Founder and CEO at Next Big Thing AG
  • Prof. Dr. Olga Willner, Professor at the HTW
  • Prof. Timo Kob, Co-founder and board member at HiSolutions AG
  • Thomas Schröter, Chairman of SIBB
  • Birgit Hess, Security Awareness & Enablement Lead Europe bei SAP Global Security
Selection criteria

The following criteria will be considered by the independent jury:

  • Degree of innovation/level of innovation (from a technical perspective)
  • Degree of autonomy of competition contribution and unique selling propositions (USPs)
  • Benefit and added value from point of view of users
  • Market potential & presence
  • If required, hardware- and software design
  • Concept of data protection, data quality, and data security
  • Fulfilling product-specific standards and legal requirements
Eligibility to participate

All those enterprises are permitted to take part in the competition that are located in the federal country of Berlin. Submissions by small and medium-sized enterprises are explicitly welcome. We are looking for application-oriented and market-tested solutions and products based on soft- and/or hardware that stand out for a high degree of innovation and offer a great potential for the future. In order to receive the prize money you have to fulfil the prerequisites of state aid according to the so-called “De-minimis- regulation“ (See also De-minimis-State Aid leaflet on the Deep Tech Award 2020).

Submission procedure

Please use the online application form for submitting your contribution. Please also note that you can only apply for one of the categories each with your product or solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things & Industry 4.0
  • Blockchain
  • Digital Security
  • Social Tech (Deep Tech solutions with social or sustainable added values)

All those competition contributions will participate in the competition whose documents have been received by May 31, 2020, 0.00h on the platform, contain the maximum signs, and comply with the formal requirements of the competition.

Formal Framework Conditions for submitting the competition
  • All rights of the competition contributions remain with the submitting person. It is permitted to submit several contributions. The submitter will ascertain that his contribution is free from third parties‘ rights.
  • Please observe that you can only submit your contribution for one of the categories each: AI, IoT & Industry 4.0, Blockchain, Digital Security, Social Tech)
  • The submitter is liable towards the organiser of the competition that the contribution/submission does not violate third persons’ rights.
  • If required, the submitter will exempt the organiser of the competition from all claims and possibly arising costs that may be asserted by third persons due to a violation of rights.
  • The submitter agrees upon handing in his documents that the submitted work (photos etc.) may be used by the organiser of the competition, within the scope of the application, documentation and reports on the competition and also grants all necessary rights of use. The right of use for the organiser is not exclusive, however, unrestricted in time and space and refers to all known and unknown types of utilisation.
  • The competition organiser is entitled to pass on to third parties such as the media, personal data of the participant as e.g. name or photos obtained within the scope of the competition. If this is not to be permitted, the submitter has to inform the competition organiser upon submission in writing which of the data the submitter does not want to be passed on to third parties.
  • The data protection regulations as published on the organisers website apply.
  • In case individual regulations become ineffective, the validity of the other conditions remains intact.
  • There is no legal claim for being granted a prize resp. prize money.
Documents to be submitted
  • Naming a contact person by quoting contact details, incl. telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Description of the enterprise (max. 1500 signs)
  • Presenting the competition contribution (max. 3000 signs)
  • Market presence and market potential
  • Describing the innovation-related stand-alone features - What is new in the contribution? (max. 3000 signs)
  • Presenting the data protection- and data security concept (max. 1500 signs)
  • If necessary, photos and drawings as an attachment (max. 3)
  • Completed De-minimis-declaration (See also: De-minimis-State Aid on the Deep Tech Award 2020)
Contact for enquiries

We will be available for enquiries, comments and suggestions during the whole of the competition.

Betül Özdemir
Advisor Open Data
Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises
Martin-Luther-Straße 105
10825 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 9013-8250

You will find all information about the competition here.