Print-Logo Deutscher Zukunftspreis

"Turn ideas into successes. For our people. For our country."

This is the idea behind the works of the prize-winners that can be seen in the permanent exhibition on the Deutscher Zukunftspreis at the Deutsches Museum in Munich since the end of 2006.

Modul of the Prize Winners 2020

The exhibition showcases ten award-winning projects, documenting scientific and academic excellence and the sustainable impact of the innovations. The exhibition introduces the researchers and developers as individuals and as role models and honours their achievements in the "Hall of Fame".

The prize-winners are presented in a "Hall of Fame", at a prominent position and in framed larger-than-life, black-and-white portraits at the top end of the exhibition - the modern equivalent of the actual "Hall of Fame" at the Deutsches Museum. The installation ends with the archive presenting all activities related to the prize and the "Emeritus Module", containing information about all prizewinning projects no longer on display in the exhibition. On the opposite wall is a list of all those whose innovations were shortlisted for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis:
researchers who are among the "circle of the best".

The award-winning works of the prize-winners are dramatically showcased on project islands. Each of the ten modules has a "gateway" that functions as a teaser, a playful invitation that engages the senses and focuses the visitor's attention on the project. In the more in-depth information at the exhibition modules, the scientific background , an explanation of the innovations and their economic and social relevance are presented. The views and experiences of the prize-winners are also documented in brief statements.

The design of the displays and individual modules is angular. Their basic shape is that of an irregular pentagram that gradually assumes its final form and becomes a solid, defined rectangle: this is an allegory of the work process of research and development. It illustrates the path taken from an idea as it becomes a project and ultimately culminates in a specific product.

Excellence, experience and appreciation - these central themes are reflected in the exhibition's execution. It provides information on the aims of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis and emphasizes its particular significance as a prize awarded by the German President.

Exhibition design:
Module of the winners 2022

“Researching the foundations of life – 
An innovative microscope for gentle 3D imaging of living cells”

Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Kalkbrenner, Dr. rer. nat. Jörg Siebenmorgen and Dipl.-Phys. Ralf Wolleschensky were awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis in 2022 for their innovation.

The prizewinners developed an innovative high-resolution microscope system that opens up entirely new perspectives for research.

The system combines what is known as lattice lightsheet microscopy with a number of innovative optical technologies, thereby protecting living samples from being damaged by the laser light used by the fluorescence microscope when observed under the microscope. The easy-to-use system thus opens the door to a wide range of entirely new applications in basic research as well as in the search for new approaches to medical diagnostics or pharmaceutical agents.

To do so, the winning team relied on the technology of the lightsheet microscope in which the directions of illumination and detection are separate. This alone dramatically reduces the amount of radiation to which the object is exposed but is not enough to observe what goes on inside individual cells: To do this, special beam shapes must be used – the lattice lightsheets. The team combined their complex technology with an innovative concept to generate lightsheets automatically.

The compact system can easily be integrated in existing lab environments and combined with the usual type of sample preparation. The success of the system is driven by innovative microscope optics which fully compensate for possible imaging errors.

This combination of several innovations ensures that microscopic images are produced in excellent image quality – which can be maintained for several hours or even days at a time without compromising the examined object.

The module of the 2022 award winners mirrors the various components used in the implementation. Highly visible is the “gateway”, a 3D display which documents in a number of fascinating sequences taken from fluorescent images of cells how with this innovative microscope “life can be observed living”.

In the module itself, the important elements of the innovation (clockwise) are then presented in pictures and explained together with hands-on applications and exhibits.

A screen presents an explanation of how fluorescence microscopy works and highlights the most important innovative steps that produced the award-winning microscope.

A demonstration, in this case, blood cells magnified 3,300 times, explains the principle of lightsheet microscopy: first, by means of the planar illumination of all cells and, second, by means of lasers that illuminate the individual planes of these cells. This prevents the cells from being damaged by the laser light while still making it possible to observe the brightly lit and well-focused object in focus.

The middle display case of the module spotlights the technical finesse of the implementation: First, the two lenses of the new lattice lightsheet microscope are positioned vertically next to each other. Note the polished free-form lenses that correct aberrations of the inverse microscope produced by viewing the sample at an angle through a glass base. To further explain the principle, another exhibit shows the polished section in two-and-a-half times magnification.

A display compares cell division under a conventional fluorescence microscope with the lattice lightsheet microscope. Notice that the cells under the classic fluorescence microscope are damaged by light that is too strong and stop cell division. Under the lattice lightsheet microscope, on the other hand, cell division can proceed undisturbed by the observation until the end.

Another demonstration reveals how the beam-shaping modules work that are used in lattice lightsheet microscopy. The core, a spatial light phase modulator, generates the lattice lightsheets and thus the light distribution patterns necessary for the gentle observation of objects under a microscope. On the module’s media terminal, the three prizewinners talk about the road to the development of their innovation and the special features of their cooperation. It is interesting to note that even at a company with a tradition of producing microscopes that goes back to 1847, a new microscope concept first had to prove that it truly did open up new perspectives.

Statements on the commercial potential highlight the opportunities for medical research and the life sciences in being able to observe cells as they live their life. This terminal also has the German television ZDF report of the award ceremony that once more presents the sequence of the development steps.

Deutsches Museum

Your visit to the Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum in Munich has already been extensively renovated in recent years. With the completion of the first construction phase, visitors can expect a total of 19 completely redesigned exhibitions since the reopening in 2022.

The exhibition on the German Future Prize has moved from its original location to the gallery of the auditorium, where it can be experienced in a modified and updated form.

However, a second construction phase is now pending. For this reason, individual exhibitions on Museum Island will again be temporarily inaccessible.

Current information on this can be found here:


Address and Directions

Museumsinsel 1
80538 Munich / Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 21 791
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 21 79 324
Recorded information: +49 (0) 89 / 21 79 433


Image: (c) Alexander Goettert | Deutsches Museum

The entrance and ticket office are now located in the new multi-storey glass building on Corneliusbrücke.

site plan

How to get to the museum

S-Bahn – all trains stop nearby
Isartor – escalators only, no lift Rosenheimer Platz – barrier-free, but relatively steep hill down to the Deutsches Museum

Line 16, Isartor
Line 18, Fraunhoferstraße
Please note that the Deutsches Museum stop on line 17 is not currently served due to construction work on Ludwigsbrücke.

Line 132, Boschbrücke
Lines 52 und 62, Baaderstraße

Lines 1 and 2, Fraunhoferstraße

Opening Hours and Admission Charges

The Deutsches Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tickets are sold until 4pm. Admission until 16.30.
The last entrance to the mine and Kinderreich is at 16.45.

The German Museum is closed eight days a year.

01.01.2020 New Year
25.02.2020 Shrove Tuesday
11.03.2020 closed until 12:30 pm for staff meeting
10.04.2020 Good Friday
01.05.2020 May Day
01.11.2020 All Saints' Day
11.11.2020 closed until 12:30 pm for staff meeting
24.12.2020 Christmas Eve
25.12.2020 Christmas
31.12.2020 New Year's Eve

Admission costs
Adults 12,00 €
Admission for children up to 5 years and members is free.
Family ticket 25.00
Up to 2 adults with family members up to 17 years old.
Combi ticket 19,00 €
German Museum + Traffic Center + Flugwerft Schleißheim
valid until redemption for an indefinite period.

The German Museum is currently being extensively renovated. Therefore, several exhibitions are closed and the entrances change again and again during the construction process. Please check up to date when planning a visit to the museum.

If you wish to visit the exhibition on the Deutscher Zukunftspreis at the Deutsches Museum with a small or larger group, please notify the museum in advance by contacting:


Deutsches Museum
Dr. Sabine Gerber, Curator
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 21 79 565
Tours Ms. Beate Schuster
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 21 79 273

Büro Deutscher Zukunftspreis
Cuvilliésstraße 14
81679 München
Dr. Christiane A. Pudenz
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 30 70 34 44
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 39 29 87 31
Mobil: +49 (0) 172 / 85 20 982