Nechemia J. Peres, der Reinhard Mohn Preisträger 2020, mit Liz Mohn, Bertelsmann Stiftung

The Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 – The award year in review

Within the framework of the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020, the Bertelsmann Stiftung conducted a global search for notable examples of mechanisms and strategies that could be applied to promoting innovative capacity in Germany and Europe. The aim of our efforts has been to ensure not only that Germany remains technologically – and thus economically – competitive, but also to ensure that our economic development remains humane, inclusive and democratic. 

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Dr. Daniel Schraad-Tischler
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The ceremony on October 28, 2021 at which the Reinhard Mohn Prize “Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential.” was awarded to Nechemia (“Chemi”) J. Peres, chairman of the Board of Directors of Israel’s Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, marked the culmination of our project encompassing a series of studies, broadscale international research on good practices and numerous other events and publications.

Here are a few images and other documentation of the memorable event:

Our Laureate: Nechemia J. Peres

Nechemia (“Chemi”) J. Peres, chairman of the Board of Directors of Israel’s Peres Center for Peace and Innovationis the recipient of the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020. In presenting the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 to Nechemia Peres, we recognize his outstanding commitment to promoting innovation that serves the economy and society in equal measure.

With great foresight and a broad international network of partners, Chemi Peres has, for years, promoted innovation in key areas such as entrepreneurship, healthcare, industry, the environment and sports. Much of this he has done through the activities of the Peres Center. Through his work, his diplomatic acumen, and his capacity for empathy, Chemi Peres continues the legacy of his father, Shimon Peres, who founded the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in 1996 to foster innovation and economic progress in Israel. The Peres Center also works to promote peaceful coexistence among all citizens of Israel, as well as lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors across the Middle East.

Chemi Peres shows how innovation can help people experience more prosperity, both individually and on a societal level, and how it can contribute to the peaceful development of societies. As a person and an entrepreneur, he is a role model for all those who act on the belief that business also bears a responsibility to society,

Dr. Brigitte Mohn, Member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board

In addition, Chemi Peres is a champion of the “innovation and start-up nation” Israel. He has helped several innovative start-up companies achieve regional and international success, promoting and supporting them through his position as head of the Pitango Fund and his other activities. Driven by the deep conviction that innovation can bring peace while fostering societal development, his efforts to advance this vision have impacted communities across and beyond the Middle East.

Interview with our Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 Laureate

Innovation for a better world

Nechemia Peres im Peres Center for Peace and Innovation

I am a great believer in the future, and that science and technology can be a source of power and social cohesion. Peace can be built through innovation.

Nechemia J. Peres

Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 Laureate

Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential.

Innovation is crucial to creating a sustainable and future-oriented society and economy. As we face rapid technological change, we must do more to expand our innovative capacity if we are to remain internationally competitive. But we in Germany and Europe, like populations elsewhere around the world, also face increasingly complex and extremely urgent grand challenges in society that can no longer be tackled with conventional approaches. We therefore need new strategies, policies and instruments to make us more innovative as we aim to secure future-oriented societal and economic development for everyone.

How can we achieve these goals? How can we strengthen our innovative capacity while ensuring fair and inclusive economic development? And how can we ensure that technological progress consistently remains in line with our European values? 

As part of our global research on good practices in successful innovation policy strategies and instruments, we identified examples from 13 countries and explored each in depth. 


In the future, only communities that face up to global competition and repeatedly demonstrate their ability to innovate and perform can succeed and endure.

Reinhard Mohn