"Thuringia has many courageous and creative founders who are getting down to business, putting their good ideas into practice and have used the crisis as an opportunity for innovative products and services," said Wolfgang Tiefensee, Thuringian Minister for Economics and Science and patron of the ThEX AWARD, at the award ceremony.
A total of 118 applications were received in response to this year's call for entries for the start-up award. It is awarded by the Thüringer Zentrum für Existenzgründungen und Unternehmertum (ThEx) (engl: Thuringian Center for Start-ups and Entrepreneurship). A total of eleven projects were honored in four categories: FOUNDING, START-UP, FOLLOW-UP and GIVING PULSE.
First place in the category FOUNDING went to the Jena-based start-up Robust AO GmbH. The young company builds the so-called Zwobbel® - a plug-and-play solution for new or existing laser material processing systems. The Zwobbel® can thus increase the profitability of laser coating systems. Moreover, the technology enables new machining processes.
Robust AO GmbH had spun off from Fraunhofer IOF in 2020. The foundation was supported by the Digital Innovation Hub Photonics, a pilot project of the state of Thuringia with the aim of promoting start-ups in the field of optics and photonics.