"Drought Analytics" Emerges as the Winner of the FZ Jülich JUICE Innovation Contest 2023

26 September 2023

Forschungszentrum Jülich has successfully concluded the Jülich Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program for the third time and is delighted to unveil the champions of this year's Innovation Contest. This program empowers doctoral candidates and early-career postdoctoral researchers to nurture innovative concepts, thereby facilitating the translation of their research outcomes into practical applications for society and industry.

JUICE: Cultivating Emerging Talent in the 2023 Innovation Contest

The pinnacle of the Jülich Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is the Innovation Contest, where nine teams presented their groundbreaking ideas with the potential to convert scientific discoveries into marketable solutions.

The judging panel comprised esteemed experts:

  • Peter Jansens, Board Member at Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Christian Cremer, Head of Innovation and Strategy at Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Bernadett Simon, Head of Technology Transfer at the University of Cologne
  • Ingmar Stock, Head of Startup Village at Brainergy Park Jülich
  • Maximilian Eckel, Managing Director of the WHU Entrepreneurship Center

Board member Dr Peter Jansens opens the JUICE Innovation Contest 2023
Board member Dr Peter Jansens opens the JUICE Innovation Contest 2023
Forschungszentrum Jülich

Jülich Innovation Contest 2023: Nine Teams, one winning project

The projects were assessed based on their innovation potential, market viability, and societal impact. "Drought Analytics" by David Mengen (IBG-3) and Colin Fernandes (IBI-3) captivated the jury due to its substantial potential in addressing drought-related challenges and supporting decision-makers in this domain.

The winning team of the Innovation Contest will receive startup funding to further advance and implement their project.

1st: Drought Analytics

David Mengen (IBG-3) & Colin Fernandes (IBI-3)

The concept of Drought Analytics involves building upon the established water monitoring system "Wasser-Monitor" and providing hydrological forecasts as a service to tackle climate change. Consequently, the project aims to offer decision support for agricultural insurance to assess periods of drought risk.

2nd: Methylution

Diana Amariei, Lisa Böhmer, Benjamin Chapple, Mona Haase (IBG-1/IBOC)

Leveraging their extensive expertise in tailored enzymatic processes, the project "Methylution" aspires to provide bespoke biocatalytic services and solutions for methylation. This will assist pharmaceutical companies in enhancing their synthesis routes and processes in a more sustainable manner.

3rd: Clean Heat

Simon Hahn (IEK-11/ HI-ERN)

The project's objective is to ensure a secure and ample heat supply. Grounded in patented technology, the heating sector can receive support in transitioning to emissions-free heat supply by utilizing hydrogen as a fuel.

David Mengen und Colin Fernandes halten nach Sieg ihre Zertifikate
Winning team: David Mengen (IBG-3) and Colin Fernandes (IBI-3)
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Das Team vom Projekt Methylution steht vor einer Leinwand
Diana Amariei, Lisa Böhmer, Benjamin Chapple, and Mona Haase (IBG-1/IBOC) clinch the 2nd position with their transformative venture "Methylution."
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Simon Hahn präsentiert seinen Pitch
Simon Hahn, representing IEK-11/ HI ERN, secures the third-place position with his transformative concept, "Clean Heat."
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Contestants and teams at JUICE Innovation Contest 2023
JUICE Innovation Contest 2023
Forschungszentrum Jülich

JUICE at FZ Jülich: Support for young innovation pioneers

The JUICE Program stands as a pivotal element in nurturing innovative scientists at the FZ Jülich. This educational initiative, initiated by the FZ Jülich, provides valuable support to young emerging scientists embarking on their journey into the realms of innovation and entrepreneurship.

It offers comprehensive training, workshops, and coaching opportunities, empowering participants to translate their research findings into successful transfer projects, not limited to startups.

Applications for JUICE 2024 are open

For further information regarding the JUICE Program, its objectives, and success stories, please visit the official website of FZ Jülich at:


Further information on the Innovation Contest

For additional details about the Jülich Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program and the Innovation Contest 2023, please contact:

Dr. Vanessa Leffler


  • Corporate Development (UE)
Building 15.3 /
Room 3007
+49 2461/61-6905

Last Modified: 27.03.2024