ınnOscı Open Data Impact Award

The Stifterverband initiated the Open Data Impact Award within the framework of innOsci to honour researchers who enabled innovation for all by disclosing their research data.


Open Data is on everyone’s lips, but not yet lived out everywhere in the everyday life of science. However, the subsequent use of collected data has advantages for everyone: both science benefits when data sets and experiments can be reviewed and further developed by other researchers, and society as a whole when innovations arise from existing data. To make these data treasures available and to enable subsequent use, scientists must actively disclose their data.



We promote Open Science and Open Data in science and society through a prize that gives Open Data more visibility. Through the prize money and attention, we create incentives both for scientists to make their data available for open use and for downstream users to further develop this data in innovative ways. In this way, we identify innovation potentials that enable added value for society from Open Data and make these approaches attractive for everyone.


In the current academic system, scientists often lack incentives, infrastructure and resources to make their data accessible in such a way that a scientific and non-scientific reuse is possible or facilitated. This is where the Open Data Impact Award comes in. We honor researchers who make their data openly available for reuse, thereby unlocking the innovative potential of their research.


The target groups are researchers or research teams, institutions, start-ups, civil society projects, individuals, cultural workers.


With a total prize money of €30,000, prizes will be awarded both for the provision of research data with potential for innovative re-use and for the innovative re-use of research data in business, culture, civil society and journalism.

The 2020 award winners

– Michael Schmitt from Munich University of Applied Sciences receives the winning prize of 15,000 euros for his dataset on the development of AI processes in earth observation. This is a highly dynamic field in which exciting start-ups and innovative business ideas are emerging. By combining modern AI methods and recently free and globally available satellite data, there are countless opportunities for transferring insights from research into commercial products and applications.

– Emanuel Deutschmann from the University of Göttingen is awarded the second prize of 10,000 euros for the “Global Mobilities Project”. Launched in February 2018, the project’s dataset promises better models and analysis of human mobility, globalization, and the multiple issues raised by mobility and unequal resource distribution. In an initial external publication, a scientific team used the dataset to better model the progression of the Covid 19 pandemic. However, it could also be used in the future to trace transport routes and flight movements following natural disasters or civil wars.

– Claudia Niessner from KIT Karlsruhe receives 5,000 euros. She provides one of the first Open Data Sets in sports science on the athletic fitness of children and adolescents. From this, uniform development documentation and bases for interventions can emerge.

The virtual award ceremony for the Open Data Impact Award took place on October 7, 2020, as part of the University:Future Festival. The three award winners presented themselves and their research to the public and showed how open research data can benefit everyone.

Watch the recording of the award ceremony here:

New in the Think & Do Podcast


The 19th episode of the Stifterverband podcast is dedicated to the topic of Open Data and makes clear why it is so important for science and research. Marte Kessler from innOsci, the Forum for Open Innovation Culture, sheds light on the background. This year, the Stifterverband presented the Open Data Impact Award for the first time. In an interview with Lukas Grasberger, award winner Michael Schmitt explains his research and how the award helps him in his research.