BIOWEG is the Winner of KfW Award Gründen for Niedersachsen

Frankfurt am Main 20.10.2023. The KfW Award Gründen honours innovative companies from all over Germany. The awards were presented at a ceremony in Berlin yesterday evening. One company per federal state was awarded a prize. 

BIOWEG from Quakenbrück emerged from the competition as the state winner of Niedersachsen.

KfW’s Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, Stefan Wintels, said: “The successful transformation of the economy and society as well as the strengthening of Germany as a technology location requires true entrepreneurial spirit. With the KfW Award Gründen, we not only want to honour successful start-up teams, but also help to ensure that the courage to become self-employed receives public recognition. I warmly congratulate the award-winning teams; with their innovative solutions, they are role models in this #decadeofdecision. As a transformation and promotional bank, KfW will continue to actively support young companies – from crafts to high-tech – and thus strengthen the ecosystem in our country for young companies.

BIOWEG, founded by Dr. Prateek Mahalwar and Srinivas Karuturi in 2019, has found a solution to replace microplastics in products. This is because microbeads/micropowders and synthetic polymer-based texturising agents are common in everyday products such as cosmetics, personal care products, household products and agricultural coatings. Unfortunately, they make their way back to humans through sewage and the oceans, via fish and seafood. Microparticles contain harmful toxins and are so small that filters cannot stop them. BIOWEG has created functional materials from fermented cellulose, offering an environmentally conscious and highly functional alternative to the previously added microplastics without compromising the performance of the manufactured products. This innovative approach transforms low-grade agricultural waste into high-value ingredients with multiple applications and promotes a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Dr. Prateek Mahalwar: “The discovery of microplastics in the human body is an alarm signal that requires immediate action. It is right that microplastics will be banned in the EU from 2028. Now it is up to companies to design innovative products and sustainable business models We have already found a solution and are driving a revolution. On behalf of the entire BIOWEG team, I am deeply honored to receive the KfW Award for Lower Saxony.

The winners were selected in a multi-stage process by a jury of experienced people from KfW, promotional institutions, business, politics and the media. They evaluated the business ideas according to their degree of innovation, creativity and assumption of social or ecological responsibility. The competition was open to companies from all sectors from 2018, the year in which they were founded, and the prize money is 1,000 euros.

As the state winner, BIOWEG has also qualified for the public winner’s prize. This prize comes with a further 5,000 euros in prize money. Votes for the public winner can be cast up to and including Friday, 10.11.2023 at

KfW Press contact:
Carmen Vallero, KfW Award Gründen c/o Peperoni Werbe- und PR-Agentur GmbH,

BIOWEG Press contact: 
Aleksandra Mincheva, BIOWEG,

Photo credits: Jonas Wresch

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