Ernst Abbe Prize for Innovative Entrepreneurship for Sven Kiontke

Thuringian Innovation Award 2023

Innovation Award 2023 with special honor for asphericon’s CEO

Jena, November 30, 2023: The Innovation Award Thuringia (Innovationspreis Thüringen) was presented for the 26th time yesterday evening. Top innovations in four categories and the special award for young companies were honored. Thuringia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wolfgang Tiefensee awarded prize money totaling more than 100,000 Euro in Weimar. Sven Kiontke, CEO of asphericon, received the Ernst Abbe Award for Innovative Entrepreneurship.

Every year, the Thuringian Innovation Award honors outstanding innovations from Thuringia. The prize is awarded by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Business and Digital Society, the Thuringian Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research (STIFT), TÜV Thüringen e.V. and the Ernst Abbe Foundation, under the patronage of the Thuringian Minister of Economy, Science and Digital Society, Wolfgang Tiefensee. A special highlight of the competition is the official announcement and recognition of the award winners, which this year again took place at the Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle in Weimar.

With prize money totaling 100,000 Euro, the Thuringian Innovation Award is one of the most highly endowed state innovation awards in Germany. The prize is awarded in the categories “Tradition & Future”, “Industry & Materials”, “Digital & Media” and “Light & Life” for outstanding innovations. This year, the awards went to Erfurt, Nordhausen and Jena. The jury also awarded a “Special Prize for Young Companies”, which honors the efforts of young companies and is intended to support them on their way into the future. In addition, the “Ernst Abbe Prize for Innovative Entrepreneurship” is awarded to an entrepreneurial personality in Thuringia for special services to the science and technology location.

Ernst Abbe Prize for Innovative Entrepreneurship

Christiane Kilian, chairwoman of the STIFT, emphasized the importance of innovative entrepreneurs at the opening of the award ceremony: “Where ideas, creativity, knowledge and the unconditional will to improve come together, innovation is born. We are delighted that we have visionaries in Thuringia who have turned their ideas into reality. We need these entrepreneurs to lead the way. With the Thuringian Innovation Award, we want to recognize exactly that and proudly show how successful innovative companies from Thuringia are. In a time of constant change and increasingly complex challenges, we know the immense importance of groundbreaking ideas and developments that make and will make a difference around the world.”

This year, Sven Kiontke, founder and CEO of asphericon, was awarded the Ernst Abbe Prize for Innovative Entrepreneurship for his services to Thuringia as a business and technology location, in particular for the development of his sustainable company for the manufacture of aspheric optics and innovative systems.

“asphericon founder Sven Kiontke is a role model for social and sustainable entrepreneurship in the spirit of Ernst Abbe. He has been committed to Industry 4.0 since 2002, bears responsibility for industries worth billions, operates sustainably, and places his employees at the center of his actions. His life’s work, asphericon, is shaped by his ideals and goals and has a radiant effect on entrepreneurship in Thuringia and beyond,” said the jury of the Innovation Award.

Sven Kiontke is delighted with the special recognition and points out: “This award is the culmination of our and my personal journey. We wanted nothing less than to revolutionize photonics, and today we can proudly say that we have done just that. I have never taken the easy way out and have always had high expectations of myself and the results of my work. I have had to overcome a few hurdles and take a few detours along the way. But only those who keep getting up will be successful in the end. First and foremost, I would like to thank my family, especially my wife, who has been with me through all the good and difficult times. I am also grateful to have Alexander Zschäbitz and Thomas Kurschel, my two co-founders and partners, by my side in all important decisions. Of course, I would also like to thank the entire asphericon team. In the end, all successes are always a team effort, and I am very proud of that”.

As a scientist, entrepreneur and reformer, Ernst Abbe remains a role model to this day. He combined entrepreneurial commitment with the results of science and research as well as a sense of social responsibility. Designed as a nomination competition, the prize is awarded in this spirit to entrepreneurs who not only drive the economy forward, but also take responsibility for their employees and implement their ideas with courage and creativity.

Further information on the price can be found at: www.innovationspreis-thueringen.de

About asphericon

As an independent and recognized specialist, asphericon is the technology leader in the field of optical systems. Production is based on a proprietary and patented technology for controlling CNC grinding and polishing machines. This technology is unique in the world and allows the production of small quantities as well as large series with high precision. asphericon supports its customers from optical design, production and coating, full-surface interferometric measurement and documentation to the assembly of optical components and their optical characterization.

Further Information

Dr. Thomas Hegenbart
Tel.: +49-3641-3100500
Fax: +49-3641-3100501
E-mail: event[at]aspherion.com