Jump to main content
Press Office and Crossmedia Communications
University News
University News Alumni

Assistance with Humanitarian Challenges

Disaster Relief System developed by Chemnitz student received audience award at the Leipzig Founders Night - further development of the idea as a start-up

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in Haiti and claimed many lives. John-Henning Peper, a graduate of the Master's program in Industrial Engineering and Management at Chemnitz University of Technology, could not let go of the event and the humanitarian aid actions that followed: "I wondered whether standardized and widely available equipment could optimize international aid.” So the idea of developing an aid container for disaster control matured in him. In 2017 he submitted this idea to the SAXEED ideas competition "Schicke Ideen" (Smart Ideas) (German) and won first prize in the Student category (German). He received support in the further development of his idea from the supervisors of his seminar and master's theses at Chemnitz University of Technology and from the SAXEED start-up network.

Peper stuck to his project and through continuous cooperation with aid organizations, the idea turned into a detailed product concept: The so-called Disaster Relief System (DRS) meets the increasing requirements of increasingly occurring humanitarian disasters. The idea is so resounding that it once again won over the competition. On 19 November 2020, John-Henning Peper and Frank Amankwah from the University of Leipzig won the audience award at Leipzig Founders' Night (German) for the best business idea, endowed with 2,000 euros. The competition is organized by the Leipzig business start-up initiative "SMILE" (German).

The team already has concrete plans for the coming year: They want to present the first functional prototype at Interschutz in Hanover, the world's leading trade fair for the emergency services. The further development can be followed at

Background: "Schicke Ideen”
The SAXEED idea competition "Schicke Ideen" (Smart Ideas) aims to find innovative business ideas that have not yet been spun off. To this end, the SAXEED start-up network calls on students, university staff, doctoral candidates, and graduates to participate in all four SAXEED locations (Chemnitz, Mittweida, Zwickau, and Freiberg) up to a maximum of ten years after leaving university with a main or secondary residence in Saxony.

Whether crazy, daring, or completely normal, whether as a lone fighter or in a team: concepts from all areas of life and work can be submitted online. In addition to professional feedback, participants have the chance to win high-quality prizes worth more than 5,000 euros.

All information about the competition and the application form are available online. SAXEED will be happy to assist with the application process.

Contact SAXEED:
Dr. Constance Bornkampf, SAXEED, Phone: 03137/531-34155, E-Mail
(Author: SAXEED/Dr. Constance Bornkampf/Matthias Fejes/Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes

All "University News" articles

Press Articles