Logo innovation prize for regulatory sandboxes

Making regulatory sandboxes visible, recognising innovative ideas and encouraging people to develop new regulatory sandboxes: these are the aims of the competition “Regulatory Sandboxes Innovation Prize: testing environments for innovation and regulation”, which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched today. Companies and research establishments have until 19 February 2020 to enter their planned, ongoing and completed regulatory sandboxes.

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier said: “Regulatory sandboxes are very important for innovation in Germany. Creative companies, administrations and researchers are using regulatory sandboxes to test things that would have been unimaginable a few years ago: self-driving cars, telemedicine, new solutions for public administration. Regulatory sandboxes help us understand what rules will be needed in tomorrow’s digital world. All too often, these projects remain virtually unknown, even though we could learn a lot from them. We want to change this by recognising outstanding ideas and projects and giving bold visionaries the attention they deserve.”

Regulatory sandboxes are test areas established for a limited time, often covering a limited area, in which innovative technologies and business models can be tried out in real life. Many regulatory sandboxes require exemptions or the use of experimentation clauses, and provide important insights into whether and how the legal framework needs to be developed further.

The prize is awarded to any type of technology and innovation, and is divided into three categories:

  • “Outlook” category: Ideas for regulatory sandboxes
  • “Insights” category: Regulatory sandboxes in practice
  • “Looking back” category: Completed regulatory sandboxes

An independent jury selects three winners in each category. The main criteria are the benefits to future development of the legal and administrative framework, and the role model provided by the regulatory sandbox.

The winners of the competition will be announced and presented to the public at a prize-giving ceremony in early summer 2020. All of the winning regulatory sandboxes are entitled to use the description “regulatory sandboxes – testing environments for innovation and regulation”.

Companies, administrations and research establishments have until 19 February 2020 to apply via this link: www.innovationspreis-reallabore.de (in German).

In parallel to this, the Economic Affairs Ministry is implementing the “Regulatory sandboxes for the energy transition” funding initiative, in the context of which Minister Altmaier announced the 20 winners of the corresponding competition for ideas in July 2019. These projects test forward-looking energy technologies in real-life conditions on an industrial scale. Regulatory sandboxes for the energy transition are not permitted to compete for the “Regulatory Sandboxes Innovation Prize: testing environments for innovation and regulation”.

All the information about the Economic Affairs Ministry’s Regulatory Sandboxes Strategy can be found at www.reallabore-bmwi.de (in German).