Science & Startups' Research to Market Challenge is a competition for research-based business and startup ideas. This year, in addition to the categories "Digital & Technology", "Life Science & Health" and "Cultural & Social", a special prize "Artificial Intelligence" was also awarded. The award went to Jan-Patrick Clarner and Christine Tawfik from ZIB for their planning tool for multi-objective optimization of investments and production portfolios in the energy sector.

The Research to Market Challenge is organized by the startup services network of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Science & Startups. The ideas were evaluated in terms of innovation content, research relevance, feasibility and customer benefit. The special prize for Artificial Intelligence, awarded for the first time in 2022, was sponsored by K.I.E.Z. (Artificial Intelligence Entrepreneurship Center), an AI-themed initiative of Science & Startups.

The ZIB team's tool enables the computation of sustainable investment decisions for energy systems under economic as well as ecological criteria. Methodologically, machine learning techniques and mathematical optimization are used. The proof-of-concept has already been provided in the MOTIF research project in the context of a case study for the Berlin district heating system.