The European Chief Technology Officer of the Year 2016 announced

Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler and Michael Thiel, Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of Nanoscribe have been awarded with the title European Chief Technology Officer of the Year 2016 in their respective categories: large corporations and SMEs. The awards ceremony took place during the CTO Forum 2016 in Evonik Creavis GmbH, Marl, Germany on October 27th, 2016. Both awardees serve as prominent role models fuelling growth and strengthening European innovation and technology leadership.

Ian Roberts is an excellent international ambassador for innovation and technology. He has for many years driven innovation at Bühler and placed it at the core of the company's business. Bühler's innovation challenge, which Ian championed in the last five years, has become an example for companies that want to transform their company culture, to build organisational innovation capability, and leverage partnerships with customers, suppliers, and universities. Likewise, Ian Roberts has been the architect for the launch of Mass Challenge Switzerland, contributing to the strengthening of the innovation and entrepreneurship scene in Europe.

“This award reflects the hard work of the Bühler employees, the vision and commitment to innovation and sustainability of the leadership team and their audacity to drive change in an already successful company” said Ian Roberts. “With these initiatives, we can create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the company”, he continued.

Bühler is the worldwide leader in food processing technologies and recognised as a highly innovative company. The commitment of its management to innovation and the adoption of new technologies has established it at the forefront of advances in food processing technology.

At the age of 25, Michael Thiel became the youngest co-founder of the Nanoscribe GmbH. He is a passionate innovation forerunner and entrepreneur and has driven Nanoscribe technology to a new level to bring manufacturing back to Europe. In 2016, he was chosen as one of 10 “Innovators under 35” by MIT Technology Review.

“I am very honoured to receive the CTO of the Year Europe 2016 award in the SME category and accept the prize on behalf of the entire Nanoscribe team. Every day we push the limits of 3D printing to enable our customers which are innovators and inventors in their own right”, Michael Thiel commented.

Nanoscribe GmbH has developed the most precise 3D printers for nano- and microfabrication in the world. The company’s unique 3D printer Photonic Professional GT can create complex high-resolution microstructures with submicron feature sizes. When common additive manufacturing technologies reach their limits, these 3D printers reveal their full potential providing a 100x higher resolution.  Besides the applications within micro rapid prototyping, jewellery, or telecommunication industries, micrometre-scale printing has shown promise for new developments in medical engineering. Under Michael’s leadership as a Chief Science Officer, Nanoscribe has established itself as the technological and global market leader with its laser lithographic processes and in received the Prism Award in the category "Advanced Manufacturing" in 2014. Nanoscribe’s ambition is to establish high precision 3D printing as an industrial microfabrication standard and to provide an indispensable tool to the drivers of innovation in numerous key technologies.

From left to right: Carlos Härtel (President, EIRMA), Michael Thiel (European CTO of the Year 2016, Nanoscribe), Ian Roberts (European CTO of the Year 2016, Bühler) and Pekka Koponen (Spinverse)


European CTO of the Year is the leading European award honouring excellence in technology and innovation leadership, awarded by EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association) and Spinverse (Nordic leader in innovation consulting). The concept was launched in 2014. Since then it has been given to CTOs who are both inspiring leaders and competent technology developers. The winners are awarded in two categories – SMEs and large corporations - to highlight that both are needed to support technology-based growth in Europe.