Dres. Münch Foundation


To promote science and research in the field of chemistry and to protect the results of science and research under patent law, Dr. rer. nat Volker Münch and Dr. paed. Elke Münch the


whose task is the annual award of the

Dres. Volker and Elke Münch Prize for Science and Research is.

Current prize-winning team: Maximilian Röhrl, Josef Breu, Pier-Lorenzo Caruso and Emily Boswell

This year's awardee of the Dres. Volker and Elke Münch Prize are Maximilian Röhrl and Professor Dr. Josef Breu from the University of Bayreuth, Dr. Pier Lorenzo Caruso and Dr. Emily Boswell, both Procter & Gamble. The team is being recognized for their invention of providing a new, recyclable, compostable, sustainable and flexible paper barrier laminate in the environmentally, technically and economically important field of paper-based packaging materials. These novel barrier laminates offer a fully-fledged replacement for the millions of plastic and plastic laminate packaging materials used around the world, without their serious disadvantages such as the formation of microplastics.

More information about Maximilian Röhrl

Distinguished people since 2021


Maximilian Röhrl, Josef Breu (both University of Beyreuth), Pier-Lorenzo Caruso and Emily Boswell (both Procter & Gamble)


Rainer Ostermann, Felix Leven and Johannes Limberg, Westphalian University of Recklinghausen

The founder

Dr. rer. nat. Volker Münch co-invented numerous patent applications and patents. He has been working in the field of intellectual property (IP) protection since 1985. First he worked in the patent department of BASF AG, then as an independent patent attorney in a law firm near Düsseldorf and since 2013 in his own law firm. The founder taught for many years at national and international universities on the subject of ?Patent Law for chemists and pharmacists?. He was active in the training of patent attorney candidates and is an honorary judge in the chamber for patent attorney matters at the Munich Higher Regional Court and deputy member of the board of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (epi). An essential guideline of his professional activity is to bring young potential inventors closer to the protection of their IP and to actively support them in acquiring property rights in order to advance them and society.

The founder

Dr. paed. Elke Münch worked as headmistress and later as a consultant at the Pedagogical State Institute Rhineland-Palatinate at the interface between school and the world of work. She primarily cultivated contacts and cooperation with institutions in the economic context. As a part-time speaker, she has held seminars for trainers in the chemical industry for more than 20 years. As a pedagogy consultant in the paint industry, she developed a new training concept. She published her experiences with schools, young people and training issues in numerous specialist articles. She has headed the office of her husband's patent law firm since 2013. The essential guideline of their professional work is to support young people in particular in developing their diverse talents in order to enable them to lead a fulfilling private and professional life in a free society.

The price

The prize is endowed with ?7,000 and is given to preferably young inventors who have made a pioneering invention in the field of chemistry and chemical process engineering. The prize money is used to support the registration of a priority German patent application for the invention at the German Patent and Trademark Office. The prize money is freely available and there is no commitment to the donors or the foundation.

Groundbreaking research and development should be rewarded, the results of which are so significant that they are worthy of protection by a patent and at the same time are made known to the public and encourage further research and development.

Award awardee prove to be worthy in particular if they have carried out research and developments in the field of chemistry and chemical process engineering, the results of which


  • Are new in the patent sense, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable and are therefore patentable
  • In general, make contributions to climate and environmental protection, to sustainability and/or to saving energy
  • Concern new compounds or classes of compounds or new uses of known substances.

Important: Applicants must have sole rights to the invention and be sure that patentability is guaranteed. Patentability is also no longer given due to previous publications in competitions such as "Jugend forscht".

Application guidelines

The incoming applications are treated with strict confidentiality in order to preserve the novelty of the inventions under patent law. This also applies to the experts who may be called in to assess the inventions. The judges' decision is final.

The closing date for applications is April 30th of each year.

The following documents must be enclosed with the applications on a maximum of 10 pages in total:

  • One résumé per applicant - even for a team
  • A brief description of the problem and the motivation to find a solution for it
  • A brief description of previously known solutions
  • A brief description of the inventive solution to the problem, including at least one page with examples and / or data, and its advantages over the prior art

Applications must be submitted using the Online form .

The Foundation Advisory Board

The Advisory Board has four to five members and is made up of the founders themselves, a member of the GDCh patent law Division and other experts in the field during the lifetime of the founders. The Advisory Board may consult professionals who are competent in the relevant subject area to assess applications.

Current members are:

dr Volker MÜNCH, Dorsheim (founder)
dr Elke MÜNCH, Dorsheim (founder)
dr Matthias STOLMÀR, Munich (Head of FG patent law)
dr Andrea PATZELT, Ludwigshafen


Dr. Jasmin Herr
Varrentrappstr. 40 - 42
60486 Frankfurt aM
Tel. +49 69 7917-323
Fax +49 69 7917-1323

Email: j.herr@gdch.de

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last modified: 24.07.2023 14:59 H from N/A