They forge ahead. They have the courage to fail. They learn from experience and keep trying new things. And each try brings them one step closer to their goal, to their grand vision. Over and over again.

This is precisely the pioneering spirit that drives the scientists who make history. This year, we are inducting into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung two people whose achievements have earned them a rightful place there: the founders of BioNTech, Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci.

These two individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung on October 21 under the tagline of “Pioneers of Science”. This event will offer insights into their work as well as the chance to engage with top-level representatives from the spheres of science, politics and industry. And you can participate virtually!

Garijo Belen Cut Out 600 600 Garijo Belen Cut Out 600 600

The Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung recognizes pioneers who have the courage to step out of their comfort zone and discover new frontiers. Their scientific work is the prerequisite for human progress.

Belén Garijo

Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany


Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci have transcended boundaries, working together with their BioNTech research team to achieve something extraordinary and doing so in record time: the development of the first Covid-19 vaccine authorized in Europe and the United States. A scientific milestone that has already saved countless lives during this pandemic and will continue to do so.

The vaccine is based on a novel formulation of a programmable, artificially synthesized messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule that only occurs in its natural form within living cells. This technology is opening the door to a new generation of targeted vaccines and therapies for patients across the globe. This immense achievement has rightfully earned scientists Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci a place in the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung.

Join us virtually at the event on October 21, when Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are being inducted into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung and learn more about the work of these two laureates during a panel session.

2021 Curious-Mind-Forscherpreis

During the 2021 Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung ceremony, we will also be presenting the Curious-Mind-Forscherpreis to two scientists under the age of 40, this year in the categories of “Materials & Active Ingredients” and “Mobility & Energy”. Their work is characterized by academic excellence and originality and already shows great potential for commercial applications.

We will be hosting virtual Innovation Talks on October 22, one day after the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung event. During this session, you will have the opportunity to delve more deeply into the research of the Curious-Mind-Forscherpreis winners, asking them questions and getting to know them better. Seize this opportunity!


Michael Saliba from the University of Stuttgart and the Forschungszentrum Jülich research center took the prize in the “Materials & Active Ingredients” category. Saliba is developing novel solar cells from perovskite crystals, with which he recently set a new world record for power conversion efficiency. The resulting technologies have been patented, and international corporations have already obtained the first set of licenses.

This year, Matthias May has taken the prize in the “Mobility & Energy” category. He is investigating solar fuel cell concepts at the Institut für Theoretische Chemie (Institute of Theoretical Chemistry) of the University of Ulm while also developing a carbon-neutral process for converting CO2 into useful products. He is also seeking to patent his discoveries.