In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, our Executive Board is postponing the award ceremony for the 2020 Reinhard Mohn Prize until 2021. "Protecting our German and international guests and our employees is our highest priority. Given the ongoing uncertainty about travel restrictions for visitors arriving from outside the country and the unknown timeframe for returning to normal life, including organizing large events in the coming months, we are postponing the award ceremony until next year," said Brigitte Mohn, member of our Executive Board, explaining the reasons for the decision.
This year's Reinhard Mohn Prize is dedicated to the topic "Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential." It was originally planned to present Nechemia "Chemi" Peres with the prize on September 3, 2020, at a ceremony held in Gütersloh Theatre before an audience of approximately 400 guests. Like his father before him, the son of former Israeli President Shimon Peres has committed himself to promoting innovation and economic progress in Israel. The 61-year-old is thus representative of Israel in its role as "innovation and start-up nation," according to the foundation's statement announcing the award. As chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital, the successful entrepreneur has championed young enterprises and innovations. The impact of his efforts will be expanded through the branch office that the center plans to open in Berlin. In 2018, Peres also opened the Center for Israeli Innovation, the first and largest visitor center of its kind. Last year, more than 75,000 guests visited the center to learn about the innovation model used by Israel in its role as "innovation and start-up nation."