RWTH Innovation Award Presented


Research projects for a strong Aachen region have been honored.


By presenting the Innovation Award, RWTH Aachen University aims to support ideas from research that could be particularly suitable for strengthening the innovative power of the Aachen region. The award has been presented annually since 2014. In 2022, IonKraft from the Institute of Plastics Processing took first place, with the Compression Guys project at the Institute of Communications Engineering and InCirTals from the Chair of High Frequency Electronics coming in second.

The call for entries for the award is supported by RWTH Innovation GmbH. The ideas submitted are evaluated according to technology orientation, innovation potential, customer benefits, planned further development, commercial potential and overall impression.


Public and political pressure on companies to switch to recyclable plastic packaging is increasing on a daily basis. But in some areas, the use of sustainable packaging is technologically difficult. Chemical products, for example, have high demands on their packaging; it must not only be chemically resistant, but also absolutely leak-proof. However, the standard plastics used for packaging cannot meet this requirement. This being so, Benedikt Heuer, Montgomery Jaritz, Daniel Rau, Stefan Wilski, and Professor Rainer Dahlmann from the Institute of Plastics Processing have developed a chemical barrier coating for plastic containers that enables high barrier performance at low cost, and does not restrict the recyclability of the container. This can make a significant contribution to strengthening the circular economy for plastics. With the start-up, the team is taking the technology from research to application. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is funding the work as part of the EXIST research transfer program.

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Compression Guys

Video data, including video streaming and downloads, accounts for more than 80 percent of all Internet traffic. With the growing demand for high-quality video content, for example for video calls, e-learning or entertainment, but also for immersive technologies, more and more efficient video compression technologies are needed. Most 2D video was captured in a 3D environment with a camera, so projections of 2D frames can be made back into 3D space. The information obtained by this method can be used for higher compression efficiency. Hossein B. Golestani, Christian Rohlfing, and Associate Professor Mathias Wien developed a 2D video compression method at the Institute of Communications Engineering that estimates the 3D scene geometry as well as the camera motion and makes a prediction for future unseen frames based on this information. This technology can be applied to any video coding scenario involving camera motion. No special sensor other than a monocular camera is required; however, additional sensors can contribute to coding gains. The technology has been demonstrated in an internationally operated test environment and will become globally accessible through its introduction into international standardization.

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Next-generation mobile applications such as autonomous cars, Industry 4.0, virtual and augmented reality require increasing data rates with lower delay times. As such, chipsets in mobile devices or mobile network infrastructure need to deliver higher performance. In the past, performance improvements were achieved by increasing the degree of miniaturization. However, this method is approaching the physically feasible limits. The team of Erkan Bayram, Oner Hanay, Mohamed Saeed, Sebastian Waters and Professor Renato Negra of the Department of High Frequency Electronics has developed a transceiver microchip for wireless communications that enables up to a hundred times higher data rates while exhibiting ten times higher energy efficiency than the systems that are commercially available today. This improvement is achieved through a novel chip architecture. The first commercial product is expected to be launched in early 2023.

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RWTH Innovation Award 2021