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11/24/2023 | Campus-Meldung

Kassel start-up team wins first prize in "Hessen Ideen" competition

The "Larabicus - robotic cleaning fish for merchant ships" project from the University of Kassel was awarded first prize at the "Hessen Ideen" start-up competition awards ceremony on Thursday evening (23.11.2023).

Image: Patrick Schmetzer/Hessen Ideas.
From left to right: Dr. Oliver Fromm, Chancellor of the University of Kassel, Tatjana Liese (Larabicus), Dr. Florian Gerland (Larabicus), Frank Wilhelmi (jury member), Alfred-Walter Haag, Falah Alobaid, Rania Cheikh Rouhou (Team Hopes Energy, last year's winner).

The "Larabicus" robot, developed by Florian Gerland, Thomas Schomberg and Tatjana Liese, frees ships' hulls from the thin layer of microorganisms that increases greenhouse gas emissions from merchant ships by up to 30 percent. Unlike commercially available alternatives, "Larabicus" can remain and move while the ship is in operation. It thus reduces pollutant emissions and the costs of ship transportation and makes toxic protective coatings superfluous. The jury particularly praised the high degree of innovation of the interdisciplinary interplay between fluid mechanics, marine biology and robotics. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros. The "Larabicus" team also won the Audience Award, which was voted for by the audience on the evening of the event.

State Secretary Ayse Asar congratulated the winning teams from the University of Kassel, TU Darmstadt, Justus Liebig University Giessen and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

"Fresh ideas, innovative products, services and business models not only modernize the economy; above all, they offer solutions to the major challenges of our time. Many of this year's applications use the possibilities of artificial intelligence to break new ground. This shows how forward-looking our Hessen Ideen university start-up competition is," said Asar. "With Hessen Ideen, we motivate potential start-up teams from universities to embark on the path to self-employment and support them in the transition from an entrepreneurial idea to a convincing business concept. In this way, together we are shaping a society that is resilient, capable of change and fit for the future. I congratulate the teams on their success and wish them courage and perseverance on their entrepreneurial journey."

The "Hessen Ideen" competition for university start-up ideas took place for the eighth time this year; 34 teams from 15 universities took part. "Hessen Ideen" is aimed at university members with an affinity for start-ups who are still in the early stages with their idea for a company. Experts evaluated the projects, while users voted online for their favorite idea. In this way, eleven business ideas reached the final and presented themselves to a jury, which decided on the winners.

"Hessen Ideen" is an initiative of the state of Hesse and the Hessian universities, which is supported by Hessian companies. With the pillars Hessen Ideas Competition, Hessen Ideas Scholarship, Hessen Ideas University Network and Hessen Ideas Crowdfunding, entrepreneurial ideas are to be discovered and promoted at the universities. The Hessen Ideen initiative is coordinated by UniKasselTransfer at the University of Kassel in cooperation with HIGHEST at the Technical University of Darmstadt. The state of Hesse is supporting the "Hessen Ideas" initiative with 5.4 million euros until 2025 as part of the Hessian Higher Education Pact.

To the unabridged press release of the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art:


Project Leader Hessen Ideen:
Jörg Froharth
UniKasselTransfer - Hessen Ideas Project

Annika Strauß
UniKasselTransfer - Project Hessen Ideas