Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

“Accure” and “Cylib” win the NRW Innovation Award 2023

September 29th, 2023 | by
Mann im wissenschaftlichen Labor.

Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer  © Heike Lachmann

Innovative technologies and sustainable solutions in focus: RWTH start-ups make their mark in the fight against climate change.

The NRW 2023 Innovation Award has put the spotlight on two outstanding RWTH spin-offs: “Accure” and “Cylib”. These two start-ups not only have their roots at RWTH Aachen University, but also share a common mission – to fight rising temperatures and the associated challenges of climate change.

“Accure” was founded in 2020 by Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies, Dr. Georg Angenendt and Dr. Johannes Palmerist and emerged from the Chair of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Technology headed by Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer. Dirk Uwe Sauer and co-founder Kai-Philipp Kairies accepted the NRW 2023 Innovation Award in the “innovation2business” category in Düsseldorf. This award recognizes individuals who have developed successful business models from outstanding ideas.
The start-up specializes in monitoring the performance, safety and lifetime of batteries based on big data and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Such an innovative approach is crucial for the introduction of sustainable energy storage solutions. Dirk Uwe Sauer emphasizes the need to transfer scientific findings to the business world in order to have a positive impact on society. This is exactly what “Accure” has successfully achieved.

“This honor means a lot to us,” says Sauer, “because we are standing up for changing things with our research.”

The award in the “innovation2business” category comes with prize money of 50,000 euros, which will be earmarked for further research purposes.

Zwei Männer, links und rechts einer Frau, im Vordergrund eines Firmenplakates.

The founders of “Cylib”, Paul Sabarny, Lilian Schwich, Dr. Gideon Schwich from left  © Anna Wawra

The evening was even more exciting than for “Accure” for Lilian Schwich, one of the three founders of “Cylib”. While “Accure” had already been determined as the award winner before the event, Lilian Schwich had to compete against two other nominees in the “innovation4transformation” category on Monday evening.
The start-up, which she founded together with her husband Dr. Gideon Schwich and Paul Sabarny, has spent years developing a process at RWTH Aachen University to recycle all the components of a lithium-ion battery. The goal is to recover all components and thus close the gap in the circular economy. This approach is not only more effective, but also more environmentally friendly compared to the current state of the art.

“The award is also a recognition for the long hard time of research,” said Lilian Schwich, “with research we spent many hours, days, weeks, weekends.”

The audience award “innovation4transformation” is given to personalities whose innovative products, solutions or business models contribute in an outstanding way to solving transformation challenges. This category is endowed with 25,000 euros and recognizes the contribution of “Cylib” to the circular economy and environmental protection.

Both awards underscore the important role of RWTH spin-offs in developing innovative solutions to the pressing challenges of the 21st century, particularly in the fight against climate change. With their groundbreaking technologies and sustainable approaches, they are pioneers on the path to a more environmentally friendly and sustainable society.

For more insights, watch the interview and video with Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer and the interview with Lilian Schwich.

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