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Ideas Competition for UV Light-emitting Diodes in Households

Prizes up to 1500 euros

№ 116/2017 from May 12, 2017

With a public ideas competition entitled "LEDs innovate your home," the Chair of Innovation Management at Freie Universität Berlin is looking for ideas for using UV-LEDs in private households. Proposals for possible applications may be submitted until May 31. UV-LEDs are small light-emitting diodes that emit ultraviolet light. This UV light is highly energetic and invisible to humans. The new technology can be used more flexibly and with less energy consumption than conventional UV lamps and does not contain any polluting mercury.

The LEDs are versatile: Since the ultraviolet light kills bacteria, the light-emitting diodes can be used, for example, to disinfect water. They can also be used in the detection of infectious germs on the skin, and they facilitate the breeding of so-called superfood, as the UV radiation stimulates the formation of antioxidants in plants, which in turn promotes human health.

No professional background is required for participation in the competition. Interested persons can learn more about UV-LEDs at the innovation platform HYVE Crowd, where they can also present and discuss their ideas. A panel of experts will review the proposals and select the winners by June 23. The three top prizes are worth 1500 euros, 900 euros, and 400 euros respectively; those placing 4th to 6th can win tickets for two conferences (Entrepreneurship Summit in the fall of 2017 and a conference for experts dealing with UV-LEDs in the spring of 2018).

The team led by Carsten Dreher, a professor of innovation management at Freie Universität, is working on ways to create new product ideas based on innovative technologies. The chair in innovation management partners with Advanced UV for Life, a consortium that advances the technical development, the availability, and the use of UV-LEDs. The main focus is on applications in the fields of medicine, the environment and life sciences, disinfection, and cleaning as well as production. Currently, 38 partners from science and industry, led by the Ferdinand Braun Institute, the Leibniz Institute for High Frequency Technology, are working along the entire value-added chain on the development and application of UV-LEDs. The consortium is being sponsored by the BMBF program "Twenty20 – Partnership for Innovation" with up to 45 million euros.

Further Information

Everyone is welcome to learn more about UV-LEDs at the Hyve Crowd platform. Participation in the ideas competition is also open to anyone. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, May 31. The winners will be announced on June 23.


Andreas Scheel, researcher, School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: andreas.scheel@fu-berlin.de