First Announcement: The Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize for exceptional contributions to research on neurodegenerative diseases

Bonn/Osnabrück, 21th September 2010. The Piepenbrock Group and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) will jointly award a price amounting to 60.000 Euro to an individual whose research has significantly advanced our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. The price will be assigned every two years from 2011.

Cognitive functions such as learning, the perception of the environment, and the ability to store memories can be gradually impaired in older people because of neurodegenerative disorders. Worldwide, millions of people suffer from neurodegenerative diseases, particularly dementia. With increasing average age of the population, the number of patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is growing continuously. Although research is making significant progress in identifying causes of disease, there are no yet effective therapies or prevention strategies.

To increase awareness on the tremendous impact that neurodegenerative diseases have on patients, their families and caregivers, Piepenbrock has decided to finance an international prize that recognizes outstanding, scientific achievements in the fight against dementia and similar disorders. Beside a personal confrontation with the problems related to Alzheimer’s diseases, a primary motivation behind the creation of this prize is the appreciation that cognitive impairment is becoming increasingly frequent in our aging society. The family business was founded 1913 and is family owned and managed in the 4th generation.  With more than 25.000 employees Piepenbrock is in a market-leading position in the fields of facility management, industrial maintenance, cleaning services, security services as well as in special machinery and chemical production. Piepenbrock is committed to take on more social responsibilities and consequently to support sustainably research efforts to understand and cure neurodegenerative disorders.

This prize is jointly awarded, by Piepenbrock and the DZNE, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, one of the world’s leading research centers for translational research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The DZNE has been established within the Helmholtz Association as the first of a series of national health research centers whose long-term goals are to understand, prevent and cure the major diseases that plague our society.

Piepenbrock and DZNE will engage in a long-term partnership to award the prize every two years, The award named the "Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize“, will be assigned to an individual who has made major discoveries in the research field on the mechanisms on neurodegenerative diseases in the period preceding the award. The first prize ceremony will take place in September 2011 in conjunction with the International DZNE-Max Planck conference on Ageing and Neurodegeneration. The prize endowed with sum of 60.000 € will be increased to 100.000 € in 2013 in occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the Piepenbrock Company.

Hartwig Piepenbrock is an entrepreneur, patron, honorary doctorate from the University of the Arts Berlin and honorary senator of the College of Music and Drama Hannover. In 1995, he received the great Lower Saxony Cross of Merit with ribbon, in 2001 the Merit of the land Berlin and in 2002, the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He made the Piepenbrock group to one of the largest service provider in Germany.

Two years ago he was diagnosed with dementia. “We know from personal experience that neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease have an enormous impact on patients, their families and their caregivers. Therefore we have decided to support the research in this area, "says his wife Maria-Theresia Piepenbrock.

As a partner, the DZNE brings in major scientific expertise. "We are proud to confer this important award together with the Piepenbrock family. Although research is making significant progresses in the understanding causes of disease, there are still no adequate prevention strategies and effective treatments”, Professor Pierluigi Nicotera, scientific director and chairman of the executive board, welcomes the partnership.

The prize awardees will be selected from a pool of individuals are nominated by distinguished scientists and scientific organizations. A committee composed by members of the Piepenbrock family, the scientific Director of the DZNE and five renowned scientists will decide the Prize winner.

About Piepenbrock

The Piepenbrock Group is a family business in the fourth generation. Piepenbrock provides its customers with a broad range of services, including facility management, cleaning services, security and industrial maintenance. In mechanical engineering, Piepenbrock is very successful with assembling machines. In addition, the company is known for its chemical products.

Piepenbrock aligns its business activities at fixed values that are influenced by the holders of Arnulf and Olaf Piepenbrock: continuity, reliability, and sustainability. In fact the company laid the foundation for trust and hence for sustainability.

Piepenbrock has about 70 offices with over 800 locations in Germany and in Austria. About 25,000 employees ensure the customers with quality services and a uniform standard of quality in every region and in each building.

Under the Roof “Piepenbrock Goes Green” Piepenbrock, together with its customers through concrete actions, stands up for one-the use of resources and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Piepenbrock is certified by the DEKRA Certification GmbH with ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and DIN 77200.

For more information about Piepenbrock, please visit:

About the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases

The DZNE is a research institute within the Helmholtz association that studies neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the DZNE is to understand the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and to transfer these findings into clinical research. It also wants to develop new strategies for the care and treatment of patients. The DZNE is unique in its structure: It takes a holistic research approach and combines basic and clinical research as well as health care research. Its national network is characteristic. The experts of the DZNE are located at the seven sites, in Bonn/Cologne/Jülich, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock/Greifswald, Tübingen, Witten and the Partner Institute in Dresden.


Sonja Jülich-Abbas
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Head Public Relations (prov.)
Phone.: +49-(0)228-43302-260
Mobil: +49-(172)-2838930

Press contact of the family Piepenbrock:

Matthias Geier
Piepenbrock Unternehmensgruppe GmbH & Co. KG
Head Marketing and Business Development
Phone.: +49 (0) 541- 5841-490
Mobil.: +49 (0) 177-9500490

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