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Hans-Julius Ahlmann awarded the World Economy Prize

The prize is awarded every year to personalities from politics, business and science who have made a special contribution to a socially responsible society based on personal responsibility. "I am very pleased to receive this award. It is my first ever business award, and even more so from the top academic institution in my home state," said Hans-Julius Ahlmann. "For me as a native of Schleswig-Holstein, this is a great honor."

The theme of this year's award was "Location policy between state and market." In his laudatory speech, Professor Dr. Stefan Kooths, Vice President of the IfW, described Hans-Julius Ahlmann as an "outstanding entrepreneurial personality." "Your goal was to strengthen corporate growth through internationalization and diversification, and you set a tremendous pace in doing so," Kooths said at the award ceremony. He said the development of the ACO Group is "a great success story that reflects your entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and entrepreneurial courage."

The World Economy Award is intended to provide an impetus to tackle major global challenges across borders. The ACO Group has successfully seized the opportunities of globalization and the opening of many countries around the world over the past 40 years. Today, the company is represented in 47 countries with its own sales force and in all continents with its own production. "In the 200 years since our predecessor company was founded, ACO has had to reinvent itself again and again," says Hans-Julius Ahlmann.

Today, ACO is on its way to becoming a green tech company that develops environmental technology products and smart system solutions. "Our claim is: ACO. we care for water.
Climate change is causing increased heavy rainfall events worldwide and urbanization is leading to huge cities with dramatic sealing of surfaces," Hans-Julius Ahlmann described. "We manage stormwater so there is less damage and flooding of systems, we clean the water so groundwater is protected, and we allow the water to be reused. This helps conserve our groundwater resources." The cleaned and stored rainwater can be used, for example, to irrigate trees in the city or for street cleaning.

Furthermore, the managing partner addressed the role of the ACO Group in the construction of "smart cities". In these cities of the future, the infrastructure is digitally networked and controllable. For this, ACO develops and manufactures products with modern sensor technology for control processes in the sewer system. "Here we are facing a wonder world of digitalization, in which sensor technology, data transmission, cloud solutions and dashboards can be used to 'drive' the sewer system of a city like the technology of an ocean liner." He added that the ACO Group, with all its employees, is all about doing something meaningful for the world of tomorrow. "As a large ACO family, we will continue to work with all our might to bring Schleswig-Holstein's efficiency and livability out into the world."

The Institute for the World Economy presented the award together with its partners, the state capital Kiel and the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Industry and Commerce, for the 17th time this year. In addition to Hans-Julius Ahlmann, two other award winners were honored: Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of the Republic of Lithuania and former EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget in the Politics category, and Prof. Ufuk Akcigit from the University of Chicago in the Science category.

A video recording of the 2022 award ceremony can be seen here.

Ceremonial presentation of the World Economy Award to the Managing Partner of the ACO Group, Hans Julius Ahlmann, on Sunday, June 19, 2022 by Prof. Dr. Stefan Kooths, Vice President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. The Institute for the World Economy presents the award together with its partners, the state capital Kiel and the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry. All photos: Jörg Wohlfromm

"I am very pleased to receive this award. It is my first business award ever, and from the top academic institution in my home state to boot," said Hans-Julius Ahlmann. "For me as a native of Schleswig-Holstein, this is a great honor."

The award winner Hans-Julius Ahlmann in the company of his family (from left: Johanna Ahlmann, Iver and Catharina Ahlmann).

In addition to Hans-Julius Ahlmann, two other award winners were honored (from left): Prof. Ufuk Akcigit from the University of Chicago in the Science category and Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of the Republic of Lithuania and former EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget in the Politics category and Hans-Julius Ahlmann.

The three award winners in a lively exchange with each other. The theme of this year's award was: Location policy between state and market. The World Economy Award is intended to provide an impetus for tackling the major global challenges across borders.

Ceremony with honorees (from left) Prof. Ufuk Akcigit from the University of Chicago (award winner in the science category), Prof. Dr. Stefan Kooths, Vice President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Knud Hansen, President of the Kiel Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Monika Heinold, Minister of Finance of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of the Republic of Lithuania and former EU Commissioner for Financial Planning and Budget (award winner in the Politics category), Dr. Ulf Kämpfer, Mayor of the City of Kiel, Hans-Julius Ahlmann, Managing Partner of the ACO Group.

Inscription in the book of the city.