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Diesel Medal awarded to DAW

Building paints manufacturer receives Germany’s oldest innovation award for sustainable achievements in innovation

Ober-Ramstadt, Germany, 19 April 2018 (DAW) – Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V. – the association that sponsors the Diesel Medal – and its high-profile Board of Trustees selected the family-run building paints manufacturer DAW SE as the winner in the “Most Sustainable Achievement in Innovation” category. Through its Caparol brand for professional tradespeople, the company flexes its innovative muscle in product development particularly on behalf of environmentally compatible solutions that conserve resources. According to the reasons given by the board regarding its decision, Caparol was the first provider of safe, emission-minimised and solvent-free paints.

With more than 200 invited guests from business, politics and media, various prominent figures, companies and organisations from Germany’s innovation sector were honoured on 13 April at Deutsches Museum in Munich. The Board of Trustees for the Diesel Medal selected four winners from among twelve nominations in total which epitomise the spirit of the Diesel Medal in some special way. Germany’s oldest award for economically successful achievements in innovation from the world of business has been conferred since 1953. The Board of Trustees for the Diesel Medal represents the industrial management elite with technological expertise when it comes to selecting the Diesel Medal winners. The board is composed of some 50 chief technology officers from global leaders among small and medium-sized technology companies that together employ half a million people and generate sales of more than 100 billion euros.

In his speech, presenter Professor Dr Markus Kramer (President Region Europe, Middle East & Africa at BASF SE, Ludwigshafen) highlighted the fact that DAW SE has been anything but a hidden champion for a long time now. He noted that DAW and everything about it are based on an entrepreneurial spirit, the highest level of scientific expertise – particularly in chemistry and technology – as well as a knack for marketing, branding, its customers and especially innovations and sustainability. “This is what you will find,” Kramer continued, “if you look at the track record of this impressive and truly sustainable company and the entrepreneurs behind it, as well as the company’s rich history of innovation spanning more than 120 years and five generations.”

CEO Dr. Ralf Murjahn thanked the Board of Trustees for the Diesel Medal for the honourable distinction and accepted the award together with long-serving DAW employees from the Research and Development division. “The company’s success is made possible through its employees,” Murjahn said. He checked the facts once more before the ceremony – the people who joined him on stage share 118 years of combined service, along with development work and experience.

Since the company was established in 1895, DAW has had the reputation of being an innovative provider of environmentally friendly and health-conscious products and services. This is part of the company’s DNA, Murjahn noted. The owners have always had a background in science. “The last three generations, including me, have all been chemists,” he said.

He continued that the history of his company shows that stamina and patience are key. Murjahn then drew a connection to the work of Rudolf Diesel, the award’s namesake. For Diesel, such patience meant a firm belief in his final creation, as it took seven long years of countless test runs and subsequent improvements between when the patent for his combustion engine was issued in 1893 and the global triumph of his invention following the World’s Fair in 1900. Over the course of its successful company history, DAW has also repeatedly blazed new trails through innovation solutions that, in some cases, really took root only years after their launch due to growing market demand. Murjahn cited the 2001 launch of the first preservative-free dispersion paint for people with allergies. “Due to the growing number of people with allergies, we are seeing demand for these products rise,” he noted. “And we are happy that we are already able to offer a steadily growing range to meet this need.”

Together with Dr jur. Heiner Pollert, Chairman of Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V., which is the association that sponsors the Diesel Medal, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr Alexander Wurzer, presented Diesel Medals to the other following winners: Humboldt-Innovation GmbH (Best Support for Innovation), Trendone GmbH (Best Media Communications) and Rational AG (Most Successful Achievement in Innovation).

DAW CEO Dr. Ralf Murjahn awarded the Diesel Medal for 2018.
© API / Michael Tinnefeld
Award for the most sustainable achievement in innovation: the 2018 Diesel Medal goes to the building paints manufacturer DAW SE © API / Michael Tinnefeld
The presentation of the 2018 Diesel Medal in the Hall of Fame of Deutsches Museum (from left to right): Professor Dr Alexander J. Wurzer (Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Diesel Medal), Dr Ralf Murjahn (CEO DAW SE), Uwe Befurt (DAW SE – Team Leader R&D Exterior Paints), Dr Thomas Brenner (DAW SE – Head of the Competence Centre for Paints & Plasters), Rainer Lanzer (DAW SE – Competence Centre for Enamels & Glazes), Dr Petra Weinhold (DAW SE – Head of the Competence Centre for Tinting), Gerhard Enzenberger (Executive Management Synthesa Chemie GmbH – Austria), Karin Laberenz (DAW SE – Head of Corporate Communications) and Prof. Dr Markus Kramer (BASF SE) © API / Michael Tinnefeld