Press Release

Team of developers from ZEISS, TRUMPF and Fraunhofer wins Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020

The German Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation honors the team from the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment for the development of EUV lithography.

25 November 2020

Oberkochen, Germany | 25 November 2020 | ZEISS Group
Today, the German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020 to the team from the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment during a festive ceremony. The jury honored Dr. Peter Kürz, ZEISS, Dr. Michael Kösters, TRUMPF Lasersystems for Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Dr. Sergiy Yulin, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineers (IOF) in Jena, for their significant contribution to the development and industrial maturity of EUV technology.
"We are delighted to have received the Deutscher Zukunftspreis and are very proud of the team behind the extraordinary development of EUV technology," says Dr. Karl Lamprecht, President & CEO of the ZEISS Group. "At the same time, the prize and the two nominations are a welcome confirmation of our company's innovative strength, which promotes economic and social progress in equal measure."
With this award, the German Federal President honors scientists for exceptional achievements in technology, engineering and the life sciences that have resulted in viable products. The award comes with a cash prize totaling 250,000 euros. In addition to scientific excellence, the winning projects present a clear and recognizable benefit for society, the environment, and the economy.
  • Logo Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020

"EUV lithography – new light for the digital age"

EUV stands for "extreme ultraviolet" light, i.e. light with an extremely short wavelength. The technology can be used to produce increasingly powerful, more energy-efficient and cost-effective microchips this decade and the next. These lay the foundation for autonomous driving, 5G, artificial intelligence and many other new applications not yet conceived of.

Today's smartphones have a million times more computing power than the computer that accompanied the first Moon landing in 1969. This is made possible by a microchip that is smaller than a fingertip but can accommodate more than ten billion transistors.

The award winners have made a significant contribution to the development of EUV technology as a manufacturing process for the latest generation of chips, pushing the limits of what is technology feasible. The result: a future-ready technology with more than 2,000 patents to back it up that forms the basis for future technological progress and the digitalization of our daily lives.

EUV lithography is an excellent example of how cooperation, a spirit of innovation and sustainable commitment can achieve technological and economic value added. ZEISS and TRUMPF have, in connection with EUV, already generated more than one billion euros in revenue this year and created over 3,300 high-tech jobs up through today – and the trend is accelerating.

Double recognition for innovative achievements in engineering and life sciences

ZEISS was the first company to field two teams nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis since the accolade was first bestowed back in 1997. Alongside the award-winning team from SMT, another team from the ZEISS Medical Technology segment also made it into the "Circle of the Best." Every year, during a multistage selection process, the prestigious jury selects three research teams and their innovations for the shortlist from among a large number of different projects.

ZEISS invests over ten percent of its revenue annually in research and development. Optical technologies are vital for making progress in the life sciences, medicine, IT, telecommunications, automotive, consumer products and many other fields. The aim of every innovation at ZEISS is to go beyond just advancing the product and also benefit society.


More information:

The Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020 was presented today by German Federal President Frank Walter-Steinmeier in Berlin. Additional information about the award winners, the Deutscher Zukunftspreis and a link to the live stream can be found at and on our ZEISS DZP page. ZDF will broadcast the award ceremony on 25 November at 10:45 p.m.

Press contact Jörg Nitschke Head of Corporate Brand and Communications ZEISS Group


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling more than 6.4 billion euros in its four segments Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (updated: 30 September 2019).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, as well as medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership.

With over 31,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 60 sales and service companies, 30 production sites and 25 development sites. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG

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