The Georg-Menges prize 2018 was won by INTRA – the Interest Group of Innovative Enterprises for Plastics Engineering in the Aachen Region. The prize, which consists of a replica of a hand-made monocular Leitz microscope from 1899 built in Wetzlar, has been awarded since 1999 by IKV, VDMA and PlasticsEurope. This year is the first time an institution and not a person has received the award.
The Georg-Menges prize is awarded for outstanding application-related achievements in research and engineering in the field of plastics processing over the last decade. It aims to encourage dialogue and cooperation between industry and research, and to create a communicative and cooperative climate between them. Against this background, the jury decided to award this year's Georg-Menges prize to INTRA.
The Interest Group of Innovative Enterprises for Plastics Engineering in the Aachen Region (INTRA) is an association of companies founded predominantly as spin-offs from IKV. INTRA was established in1999 to make the expertise in plastics that exists in the region of Aachen better known. Since it was founded, INTRA's aim has been to support the courageous sense of entrepreneurship that is always behind a spin-off. INTRA pools the high concentration of know-how and creates synergies as a result. This strengthens not only the region but also each individual company. The INTRA companies operate in the following fields: consulting, design, measuring technology, software, PR services, research and development, materials technology, production and quality assurance. The Georg-Menges prize 2018 especially honours this start-up culture and the support of young companies by INTRA.
The laudatory speech was given by the Rector of RWTH Aachen University, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ernst Schmachtenberg. On behalf of INTRA, Dr.-Ing. Erwin Baur, Managing Director of M‑Base Engineering+Software GmbH and a member of the Board of INTRA, accepted the prize.
In his laudatory speech, Professor Schmachtenberg emphasised that, through investment in research and teaching, financial value is again generated if companies are founded on the basis of this research. He is convinced that „Innovation is only innovation if you can earn money with it.“
On behalf of all the member companies, Dr.-Ing. Erwin Baur thanked the jury, the Association of Sponsors and Professor Schmachtenberg for the award. He said he was also personally delighted that INTRA had been given so much publicity through the award of the Georg-Menges prize. After all, it was from Professor Menges that he had „learned everything about plastics.“ He added „The idea of founding a company from IKV is the most effective form of technology transfer.“