Leibniz Start-Up Award for "elena international" from PIK

25/03/2019 - "Electricity network analysis" - the spin-off "elena" of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been awarded the Leibniz Start-Up Award 2019. Endowed with 50,000 euros, the prize was awarded for a new application for the expansion of renewable energies in micro and island power systems.
Leibniz Start-Up Award for "elena international" from PIK
Awardees Sabine Auer and Christina Horn from "elena international" with Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association. Photo: Leibniz Association, Oliver Lang

The vision behind elena international is to advance the energy system transformation while continuing to ensure the stability of grids and electricity quality. The business idea is based on innovative software solutions and analyses that create individual scenarios for operators of micro and island power systems for the conversion to renewable energies while maintaining grid stability.

Resistance of electricity grids with a high share of renewable energies

The physicist Sabine Auer did her doctorate at the PIK under Jürgen Kurths and lead the development of the spin-off on the basis of her doctoral thesis on the resistance of electricity grids with a high share of renewable energies at PIK and Humboldt University in Berlin. Christina Horn from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Software, and software developer Jan Liße are behind "elena international" as well. The start-up was funded by the "Climate KIC" initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology to support innovations against climate change and currently with an EXIST start-up grant from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.

The Leibniz Association's Start-Up Award supports spin-off projects from Leibniz Institutes in the preparation and start-up phase. The prize money is earmarked for supporting the projects in the review and practical implementation of their business concepts, in particular for challenges such as market entry, financing, marketing or sales. The proposals submitted were evaluated by the Leibniz Prize Jury - leading scientists from Leibniz Institutes and public figures, including proven experts in business start-ups and knowledge transfer.

"PIK's exceptional position as an international top address for interdisciplinary climate research"

Science and Research Minister of Germany's Federal State Brandenburg, Martina Münch, congratulated the PIK spin-off on receiving the Leibniz Start-up Award: "The spin-off of 'elena' shows that Brandenburg's research achieves top performances - also and especially in the important field of renewable energies. Only recently, Dr. Jonathan Donges from PIK was awarded the most important prize for young scientists - now a spin-off of the institute receives one of Germany's most prestigious start-up awards. The awards once again prove PIK's exceptional position as an international top address in interdisciplinary climate research. PIK contributes significantly to the international appeal of the innovative scientific landscape in Potsdam and Brandenburg".

Weblink to elena international:

Weblink to the press release by the Leibniz Association:

Weblink to the press release of the Ministry of Sciences, Research and Cultural Affairs: