Bernhard Korte receives Honorary Award ("Ehrenpreis des Innovationspreises NRW")

© Photo: Patrick Rocca, Arithmeum


Bonn, 31.05.2021. Bernhard Korte wins the Innovation Prize of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the category "Honorary Award". Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economics and Innovation, presented the honorary award to the director of the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics in recognition of his life's work. The award ceremony took place as part of a hybrid celebration in Düsseldorf and online.

The Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is the most important award for innovations in Germany, alongside the German Future Prize conferred by the Federal President. It is awarded annually for outstanding achievements and excellent research in three categories: "Young Talent", "Innovation", and "Honorary Award". The non-monetary honorary award is given to outstanding personalities for their life's work.

Bernhard Korte (born 1938) grew up in the Ruhr area. He studied mathematics, physics and chemistry in Bonn, where he also received his doctorate. After professorships in Regensburg and Bielefeld, he was called back to take a professorship at the University of Bonn in 1972. Since then he has received numerous appointments at excellent universities in Germany and abroad. However, he has remained loyal to the University of Bonn and has been a full professor here for 50 years. Since 1988 he has been director of the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics. He is also the founder of the Arithmeum.

The laureate said:"The Honorary Award of the NRW Innovation Prize is an award for lifetime achievement. My life's work manifest itself in the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics and the Arithmeum. I view this award as an award for these two institutions, their professors, staff, and students."

The focus of his scientific work is the usage of combinatorial optimization to solve highly complex problems. Especially in chip design, Bernhard Korte has set standards worldwide. The "BonnTools" developed under his leadership are programs with which the manufacturers of computer chips can optimize the layout of their products and thus make them energy-saving and as small and fast as possible. More than 3,000 highly complex microprocessors have already been developed with it, including the chip that won a chess game against Kasparov, and the processor from SUMMIT from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA; which was the fastest computer in the world for several years. The "BonnTools" have made a major contribution to technological progress in this are. There is hardy any microcomputer in today's electronic devices that does not contain know-how from the Bonn research institute. Just recently, the Hausdorf Center and the Deutsche Post DHL agreed to extend their collaboration in the field of route planning for an unlimited period.

Bernhard Korte is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle (Saale), the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Düsseldorf and the German Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech). He has already received numerous prizes and awards for his scientific work, including the Prix Gay-Lussac/Alexandre de Humboldt of the French Republic in 1980, the North Rhine-Westphalia Order of Merit in 1993, the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1997, and the Great Federal Cross of Merit in 2002. He has a honorary doctorate from La Sapieza, Rome, and an honorary professorship at the Academia Sinica, Beijing, and the Pontificia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro.