IQ Innovationspreis for two spin-offs from the TU

Two companies based in the Technology and Start-up Centre Ilmenau were awarded the IQ Innovationspreis Mitteldeutschland on 24 June: Ilmenau-based tediro GmbH won the IQ Innovationspreis Mitteldeutschland 2021 for the LifeSciences cluster, prevailing over a strong field of participants. The winner in the Chemistry/Plastics 2021 cluster is Lean Plastics Technologies GmbH.

mobiler Robotor im KrankenhausflurWaldkliniken Eisenberg/Eric Behmler
The mobile robot captures patients' movements with its 3D camera and makes them mobile faster

The start-up tediro, which has been based in the Technology and Start-up Center Ilmenau since 2020, is commercializing the results from the ROGER joint research project funded by the Free State of Thuringia. In this project, the Department of Neuroinformatics and Cognitive Robotics led by Professor Horst-Michael Groß of TU Ilmenau, Ilmenau-based MetraLabs GmbH and the German Centre for Orthopaedics at the Waldkliniken Eisenberg developed the world's first mobile robot for gait training on forearm crutches.

Mobile therapy and diagnostics robot

With its 3D camera, the mobile robot records the movements of patients after hip, knee or foot operations and detects errors in the movement sequence. These errors are corrected by voice output from the robot. Patients can thus exercise without the presence of a therapist. "Our goal is to transfer the research results into a commercial product and to achieve a leading position in the market for mobile therapy and diagnostic robots," explains CEO and co-founder of tediro GmbH Dr. Christian Sternitzke. "To this end, the company will continue to work with the TU Ilmenau as well as the other partners."

Innovative process for the pulverization of thermoplastic materials
Kunststoffgranulat auf einer Glasplatte, dahinter zwei WissenschaftlerLean Plastics Technologies GmbH
Normal plastic granulate and plastic powdered by Lean Plastics Technologies

Lean Plastics Technologies GmbH, which was founded in 2018 by Martin Langlotz and Matthias Düngen from the group of Plastics Engineering at TU Ilmenau, also received an award for the development of an innovative process for pulverizing thermoplastics that makes additive manufacturing suitable for mass production.

Additive manufacturing, known as 3D printing, is revolutionizing the production of plastic parts for mechanical engineering, mobility or medicine. In the most effective process for this, plastic in powder form is applied layer by layer, melted and formed into the desired shape. However, the few plastics available so far for this powder bedding process are too cost-intensive for a mass market.

In order to be able to mass-produce the powder cheaply in the future, Lean Plastics Technologies GmbH has developed a process for producing thin plastic filaments that are processed so quickly that they do not solidify too early, resulting in a powder with tiny, uniform particles that are ideal for 3D printing. This means that many more plastics and even recycled materials can be used, and 3D printing with powder becomes mass-market, affordable, and much more flexible in its application. The company is currently working on bringing the technology to market in the near future. The two managing directors Martin Langlotz and Matthias Düngen are pleased with the award: "The group of Plastics Engineering at the TU Ilmenau is our origin and we continue to be connected with the university in many ways," says Matthias Düngen. "The proximity to the university and the many other young and dynamic companies in Ilmenau is an ideal environment for our pace of development and exchange of ideas."

With the IQ Innovationspreis Mitteldeutschland, the European Metropolitan Region Central Germany promotes novel, marketable products, processes and services to increase innovation and competitiveness of the region's economy. The two prize winners will receive prize money of €7,500. In total, the cross-border innovation competition is endowed with 70,000 €.

The Technology and Start-up Centre Ilmenau forms a location community of technology-oriented start-ups. Together with local partners such as the Ilmkubator start-up service of the TU Ilmenau and the Gründerforum Ilmenau e.V.synergy effects between resident companies, university and non-university research institutions and companies in the region are used and the founders are supported, promoted and accompanied from the idea generation to the successful company.

More information about the award and the winners:




Prof. Horst-Michael Groß

Head of group Neuroinformatics and Cognitive Robotics
+49 3677 69-2858



Dr. Christian Sternitzke

Managing Director tediro GmbH
+49 176 24543689



Matthias Düngen

Managing Director Lean Plastics Technologies GmbH
+49 3677 7996620