2023 Deutscher Zukunftspreis award: Highly advanced medical technology and technologies for climate protection
Team 1: Dr.-Ing. Stephan Biber, Dr. David M. Grodzki and Prof. Dr. Michael Uder
An innovative and low-cost system for magnetic resonance imaging proposed by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office has been shortlisted for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis award – DPMA President: The system makes a highly advanced medical technology available to people in poor countries – Two more teams have been nominated
Press release of 13 September 2023
Munich. Precise, user-friendly, easy to operate – and affordable for patient care even in remote and poor regions: Following the proposal by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), a team of scientists has been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis award of the Federal President for the development of an innovative system for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). “The innovative system intelligently combines existing high technology with additional innovations, opening up new fields of applications,” DPMA President Eva Schewior said, and added: “This makes a highly advanced medical technology available even to people in rural regions and poor countries where precise diagnostics has so far not been possible.”
The system named “MAGNETOM Free.Max” of Siemens Healthcare GmbH is one of three innovations that have been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis award. The teams of scientists behind these innovations presented them at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
The new MRI system was presented by Dr Stephan Biber and Dr David M Grodzki of Siemens Healthcare GmbH and by Prof Michael Uder of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. Compared to current MRI systems, it offers several improvements: The patient bore has a width of 80 cm and is considerably more spacious, so even bariatric patients or patients with a tendency to claustrophobia can be treated with more comfort. In addition, the system can also be operated at locations without helium pipes, as, unlike traditional devices, the new system hardly needs helium. This means that, compared to the current devices, using the MAGNETOM Free.Max makes imaging considerably more cost-efficient and much easier. As a consequence, MRI can also be offered in doctor’s surgeries in rural areas with relatively few treatments or in countries where only limited funds are available for healthcare.
The following teams have also been nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis award:
Antje Bulmann and Viktor Fetter of Airbus Operations GmbH presented their direct air capture innovation. DAC technologies extract climate-damaging CO2 from the atmosphere. A large fan draws air into a special cooler where it flows over a potassium hydroxide solution that is conducted over thin plastic surfaces, thereby binding CO2 as a carbonate, that is, as a salt. The separated, pure CO2 can then be stored underground. Alternatively, it can be used in finishing processes, e.g., for the production of fuels or as a fuel additive.
Jens te Kaat, Bernd Feller and Dan-Adrian Moldovan of Kueppers Solutions GmbH presented their new recuperative burner from a 3D printer. This burner is not dependent on a specific fuel. The recuperation of waste heat from the emissions of energy-intensive industrial furnaces and incinerators is an effective method for saving energy. The waste heat is used in what are known as recuperative burners, where the recuperator is integrated in the burner. The system of Kueppers Solution GmbH is customised to the application of the respective customer, so existing systems can be retrofitted at any time. Compared to conventional burners, companies can save vast additional amounts of energy.
On November 22nd, the jury will select the winner of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis award, the Federal President’s Award for Innovation in Science and Technology. The award ceremony with the Federal President in Berlin will be livestreamed at zdf.de and deutscher-zukunftspreis.de. A repeat will be broadcast by German TV station ZDF on its regular channel starting 22:15.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office
Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of just under 2,800 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services to inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international protection systems.
Pictures: Deutscher Zukunftspreis / Ansgar Pudenz
Last updated: 13 September 2023