Innovative financial instrument for precious metal price hedging in the industrial sector wins 2015 Heraeus Innovation Award

Hanau, November 25, 2015

  • The 2015 Innovation Award goes to a new, customer-oriented tool for hedging precious metal prices.
Winner Team Innovation Award 2015 Source: Heraeus

The Heraeus technology group’s Metal Management business unit has developed a new and innovative precious metal hedging tool. The “Flexible Forward” allows Heraeus’s industrial customers to purchase a certain amount of precious metals at a fixed price with flexible deliveries within an agreed time period. This gives them a higher level of planning certainty, while also ensuring continuous availability of the metals. Since mid-2015, precious metals customers from Heraeus have been using Flexible Forward with great success.

At the 2015 Heraeus Innovation Awards, this new, customer-friendly tool for hedging precious metal prices in the industrial sector received the Richard Küch Award for “Best Cooperation.”

“Heraeus is already one of the world’s largest traders in precious metals. With ‚Flexible Forward‘ we have expanded our comprehensive and innovative approach to precious metals management, offering customers even better service as they deal with the volatile prices of precious metals and issues of availability,” says Heraeus CEO Jan Rinnert.

Customers chose the first time best innovation

Heraeus developers submitted a total of 26 projects for the 2015 Heraeus Innovation Awards. All of them have the potential to produce significant changes in their respective markets. Among the winners was an innovation

in the field of medical technology. The winner of the Konrad Ruthardt Award for “Best Innovation” offers hope to the parents of young children suffering from heart conditions, among others: A new technology developed by Heraeus Medical Components is making it possible to further miniaturize medical implants. Thanks to an innovative Heraeus material system made of ceramic and platinum (cermet), it is now possible to produce smaller, more robust and more powerful electrical feedthroughs in the relevant components at significantly lower cost. At 0.15 mm, the electrical circuit paths in the cermet feedthroughs are thinner than the needle of a syringe. This makes it possible to fit even infants with miniaturized medical implants.

In a third category (Customer Focus Award), Heraeus customers had the opportunity to vote for the innovation they considered to be most important. The customer’s jury opted also for the CerMet technology, as this revolutionary solution could allow completely new applications for medical treatments in the area of neurostimulation, especially in the brain.

The jury for the Heraeus Innovation Awards met twice to select seven finalists from among the 26 projects that were submitted. The finalists were competing for the Konrad Ruthardt Award, named for physicist Dr. Konrad Ruthardt (1906-1973), founder of the Heraeus physical laboratory and co-developer of high-vacuum technology, in the category of “Best Innovation” for a product, process or business model, as well as in the category of “Best Cooperation” for the best innovation achieved through outstanding internal and external cooperation. The “Best Cooperation” award bears the name of physicist and chemist Dr. Richard Küch (1860-1915), who was Heraeus’s first head researcher and inventor of the “Original Hanau” sunlamp. Since the Heraeus Innovation Awards were initiated in 2003, nearly 280 product innovations have been submitted, resulting in a total of 43 winners.