At a festive event, which was celebrated this year on the occasion of the World's Fair in the August Everding Hall in the German Pavilion at the EXPO in Hanover, Federal President Johannes Rau presented the German Future Prize 2000 in the presence of high-ranking representatives from business, politics and science Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karlheinz Brandenburg, Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard Grill and Dipl.-Ing. Harald Popp for her promising project MP3 - compression of audio signals in hi-fi quality for internet and radio. As a media partner of the Zukunftspreis, Bild der Wissenschaft presented all four prize-worthy inventions in recent weeks. It's not a coincidence that many experts were right with their tips this time, because the MP3 process has long since become the world standard and in particular has strengthened the competitiveness of the relevant German industry. With this innovation, the encoding of acoustic signals and the compression of the data stream results in music compression without loss of quality. Scientists at the Department of Technical Electronics of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg solved this problem of basic research. They found out which signals are the actual musical enjoyment for the human brain and which data are dispensable for the hi-fi experience. Psychoacoustics is the name of this science whose results Karl-Heinz Brandenburg and his co-workers converted into a technical standard between 1988 and 1994, especially at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Ilmenau in Thuringia.

The MP3 innovation allows the compression of music signals to about 8 percent of the otherwise necessary amount of data - this almost without audible differences from the original signal. If the audio data is reduced to one-twelfth of its size, the computer can save twelve times as much music due to the free space and twelve times as fast download music over the Internet. Given the frequency allocation via digital radio, even 12 times more broadcasters can go on the air. The ability to broadcast music on the Internet has already led to a revolution in the music industry. (For more information see

Federal President Johannes Rau combines the award, which was awarded for the fourth time, with two goals: "On the one hand, the awarding of the German Future Prize should publicly acknowledge outstanding scientific and technical achievements. On the other hand, I would like to raise the public awareness of the growing importance of science and technology for the economy and society with the German Future Prize, beyond the appreciation of a single achievement. Science and technology can rely on broad support in our country. However, I would like to see more content and a broader discussion on how we want to capitalize on the great opportunities that technological advances bring us and how we can avoid indisputable dangers. "

The German Future Prize honors an individual or a team for outstanding technical, engineering or scientific innovation. Their assured implementation and marketability, together with the creation of jobs, are necessary premises of the award-winning achievement. display

Proposers to the German Future Prize are leading German institutions from science, research and industry; an application is excluded. The German Future Prize is made possible by the support of the German economy. The prize is endowed with 500, 000 DM (255, 630 euros) and has been awarded annually since 1997.

The four nominations for the final round of the German Future Prize, which Wolf von Lojewski presented to the public, were the result of numerous decision-making processes by an eight-member jury of independent experts, including German physics Nobel laureate Klaus von Klitzing and one of the vice presidents of the Max Planck Society. Society, but also a number of industry representatives. They decided shortly before the beginning of the event on the final winner, who then received his award from the hand of the Federal President.

Nominated for the German Future Prize 2000 were also the projects: self-sufficient radio sensors with Dipl.-Phys. Wolf-Eckhart Bulst; Integrated processes for papermaking with Dr. Ing. Georg Holzhey, dr. Hartmut Wurster and Hans-Peter Hofmann; Development of helium-3 nuclear spin tomography for the lungs with Prof. Dr. med. Ernst Wilhelm Otten and Prof. Dr. med. Werner Heil. The presentation of the projects and the discussion round of the candidates with the Federal President also pointed to the necessary framework conditions and prerequisites for such top performances. Not least, it became clear what connects the nominees beyond the bounds of discipline or discipline: it is the simple "joy of discovery". The ZDF recorded the ceremony and today (Friday, October 20, 2000), at 10:20 pm broadcasts a special broadcast.


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