Renate Pilz receives the Rudolf Diesel Medal

Renate Pilz after the award ceremony © Pilz
Renate Pilz after the award ceremony © Pilz

On June 23, entrepreneur Renate Pilz received this year’s Rudolf Diesel Medal. The former managing partner of the automation company Pilz from Ostfildern received the award in the category “Most successful innovation achievement”.

The medal was awarded in Augsburg by the Rudolf Diesel Board of Trustees. Since 1953, the German Institute for Invention (Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V.) has been honoring with the Rudolf Diesel Medal entrepreneurs and companies who have demonstrated on the one hand their inventive spirit and on the other hand their ability to successfully implement ideas in an entrepreneurial way.

Dr. Heiner Pollert, First Chairman of the sponsoring association “Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V.” and Prof. Dr. Alexander Wurzer, Spokesman of the Board of Trustees, paid tribute to Renate Pilz’s entrepreneurial spirit. The laudatory speech said: “Pilz is regarded as a pioneer of modern machine safety. The company has set industry standards through its technical innovations and thus made industrial history. Much like Rudolf Diesel, Renate Pilz had to fight against entrenched beliefs in technology or electromechanics in order to bring fundamental innovations such as electronic solutions in safe control technology into industrial acceptance for the benefit of people.”

Renate Pilz was very pleased to receive the award: “On behalf of my husband Peter Pilz and our wonderful employees, I accept this award with great pleasure and am infinitely grateful for what has been achieved”.

Renate Pilz: An “Ambassador of Security

The entrepreneur Renate Pilz was born in Göppingen in 1940. When her husband Peter Pilz died in a plane crash in 1975, Renate Pilz, then a housewife and mother, took over responsibility for the family business: From 1975 to 1994, she served on the company’s advisory board and initiated the focus on safe automation technology. The goal here: to protect people, machines and the environment through safe automation in production facilities.

In 1994 she took over operational management of her company as managing partner and, as an “ambassador for safety”, drove forward the globalization of Pilz GmbH & Co KG. At the end of 2017, Renate Pilz handed over responsibility for the company to her daughter Susanne Kunschert and her son Thomas Pilz.

Prize from the economy for the economy

The Rudolf Diesel Medal is one of the few economically independent awards for entrepreneurs: The heads of the German industry and technology associations and professors at major universities propose suitable award winners. The jury, the Rudolf Diesel Board of Trustees of the sponsoring association “Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V.”, selects the winners. The Board of Trustees is made up of around 60 technical executives and managing directors from German SMEs.

The Mushroom Group

The Pilz Group is a global supplier of products, systems and services for automation technology. The family-owned company with headquarters in Ostfildern employs around 2,500 people. With 42 subsidiaries and branches, Pilz creates safety for man, machine and environment worldwide.
The technology leader offers complete automation solutions comprising sensor, control and drive technology – including systems for industrial communication, diagnostics and visualization. An international range of services including consulting, engineering and training rounds off the portfolio. Solutions from Pilz are used in numerous industries beyond mechanical and plant engineering, such as intralogistics, railroad technology and robotics.