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.

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 ? 5,000 and is awarded to inventors who have made a pioneering invention in the field of chemistry and chemical process engineering. The prize money is used to support the filing of a priority-based German patent application for the invention at the German Patent and Trademark Office. The prize money is freely available and is not tied to the founder or the foundation.

Pioneering research and development should be honored, the results of which are so significant that they are worthy of patent protection and are thus made known to the public at the same time and stimulate further research and developments.

Prize winners prove to be worthy in particular if they have carried out research and developments in the field of chemistry and chemical process engineering, and their results


  • Are new in the sense of patent law, are based on an inventive step and are commercially applicable and therefore patentable
  • Generally contribute to climate and environmental protection, sustainability and / or energy saving
  • Relate to new compounds or classes of compounds or new uses of known substances.

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 deadline for applications is April 30th of each year.

The following documents must be enclosed with the applications:

  • A résumé (1 page per applicant - also for a team)
  • A brief description of the problem and the motivation to find a solution for it (1 page)
  • A brief description of previously known solutions (state of the art, 1 page)
  • A brief description of the inventive solution to the problem - possibly with a sketch - and its advantages over the prior art (maximum 3 pages).

Applications must be submitted using the online form

The Foundation Advisory Board

The advisory board has four to five members and is composed of the founders themselves, a member of the GDCh Patent Law division and other experts in the field during the founder's lifetime. The advisory board can consult experts who are competent in the respective subject area to assess the applications.

Current members are:

Dr. Volker MÜNCH, Dorsheim (founder)
Dr. Elke MÜNCH, Dorsheim (founder)
Dr. Stefan HORSTMANN, Darmstadt (chairman of the 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: 16.07.2021 15:10 H from J.Herr