Digital innovations that will change our lives

  • new.New Festival inspires with exciting mix of future technologies, new business models, media, art and entertainment
  • Excitement mounts ahead of the CODE_n Award Show on September 21
  • 4,000 visitors expected from 15 countries

Karlsruhe, September 20, 2016 – The CODE_n new.New Festival will showcase pioneering innovations regarding the digitalisation of business, science, art and society over three days. “Here, you’ll experience how new business models are created that will change our lives”, says Ulrich Dietz, initiator of CODE_n and CEO of GFT Technologies SE, launching the press conference on the first day of the event. 52 international startups in the four clusters Applied FinTech, HealthTech, Connected Mobility and Photonics 4.0 will be competing for the CODE_n Award. The ideal venue for the event was found at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe: “In this world-renowned hotspot for digital media, we are giving on-trend topics the space they need and inspiring people with new technologies. The flowing transition from technological innovations to avant-garde media art demonstrates how practical solutions that are inspired by a vision of the future can already be developed today – and in this form, it's unique.” From intelligent windows and revolutionary displays to virtual operating theatres, the exhibits on display at the 11,000-m2 venue will create huge enthusiasm for all things new. Getting involved is actively encouraged. A detour into the virtual reality world of Google? Or maybe to one of over 120 conference sessions? The diversity is endless. The shared goal is to inspire people about the digital future.

Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister, Winfried Kretschmann, will be drawing the first day of the event to a close with a keynote speech in which he calls for a new startup culture for the business location: “Whatever is founded here generally enjoys success. We in Baden-Württemberg are at the top of the line in terms of the quality of new startups – but must make further progress when it comes to quantity. The state government takes its responsibility seriously of paving the foundation for a lively culture of innovation and startups. The new.New Festival from CODE_n is an absolute beacon project in this area.”

Festival highlights at a glance

  • Innovators Area:
    partner stands, tech exhibits, various workshop areas and four startup zones with 52 young companies from eleven countries

  • Conference:
    over 120 sessions (presentations, talks, panels) on six stages
    Highlight: CODE_n Award Show, presented by Johanna Klum

  • Hackathon: 
    24 hours – 30 programmers – no limits

  • Music highlights:
    electro-pop group Claire, indie rock and RAZZ and DJ duo Lakechild

  • Art exhibition:
    works of art and digital media installations, including tours

  • Side events:
    “Schlosslichtspiele”, founders night and the party.Party at Schlachthof

  • Catering facilities:
    open food truck area with food from around the world

International startups inspire in the final of the CODE_n Award

385 applications from 40 countries – the most innovative 52 companies will now be showcasing their products at the new.New Festival. Their motivation: to inspire the Festival audience in the four startup zones with their digital business model and the technology they have developed. The ten finalists are: Biowatch and Kantox for Applied FinTech; Geospin for Connected Mobility; HealMet and NovioSense for HealthTech; Bodle and ioxp as well as otego, UrbanAlps and Xarion for Photonics 4.0. They will be pitching in front of the panel of judges from Wednesday starting at 11:20 a.m. to compete for the CODE_n Award and its €30,000 prize money. “Ultimately, it's about creating profitable business from trends in the digital world”, continues Dietz. The CODE_n Award and the four cluster prizes will be handed over in the evening at the Award Show, presented by Johanna Klum. The show starts at 6:30 pm on September 21.

No fewer than five startups made it through to the last ten round in the research-intensive Photonics cluster. TRUMPF’s Vice-Chairman of the Managing Board Dr Peter Leibinger explains at the press conference: “Photonics has given us the most universal tool in industrial production we’ve ever had: the laser. It can master virtually any production technology. It is precisely this flexibility that makes the laser the ideal tool for the production facilities of the future and for Industry 4.0.”

The secret of success is cooperation – local economy needs to catch up

The new.New Festival brings together major companies and startups with the aim of creating digital innovations together. Frank Riemensperger, Country Managing Director of CODE_n partner Accenture Germany, believes that action is needed in this context: “So far, German companies have only managed to develop the potential of open innovation to a limited degree. While they are already cooperating closely with universities on research and development, startups are still a long way off being seen universally as catalysts for innovation. Large companies continue to struggle with the task of developing their intellectual property in open innovation ecosystems and working with startups on an equal footing."

Prof Dr Johanna Wanka, German Federal Minister for Education and Research, underscores the importance of networks and cooperation ventures: “Germany is a global leader in terms of innovation. Innovation also means networking and deriving inspiration. CODE_n is a great opportunity to this end – particularly in bringing together major companies with startups.”

Karlsruhe has long been the home of innovation and technology

“Knowing the code is always good – whether it be in genetics or cryptography. Knowing it gets you further”, continues the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr Frank Mentrup. CODE_n stands for ‘Code of the New’, the DNA of innovation. “And innovation has always been a part of Karlsruhe’s blueprint: whether it be the foundation of Germany's first technical university in 1825 or the establishment of the first faculty of information technology in the early 1970s. Today, Karlsruhe is at the heart of the `Region of the New´ – an important IT cluster, a base of nine universities and numerous research organisations, and an innovation trendsetter with real prospects.” The region boasts an inspirational ecosystem with dedicated and innovative stakeholders who make the new.New Festival in its current form possible in the first place.

Picture material for download can be found here.

People interested in the festival can learn more at Our event presentation also provides a summary of all the festival information at a glance. Access for media and bloggers is free – accreditation can be obtained from: