DIVR Science Award

Extended reality technologies are growing up and more and more useful areas of application are crystallizing. It is research and at universities that the pulse of technology is beating in and it is precisely here that one can see how the potential of these technologies is developing at breakneck speed. It is thanks to research that the topic is not stagnating, but is constantly being advanced. To honor the outstanding work from the university environment, the Institute for Virtual Realities (DIVR) in cooperation with the Places _ VR Festival annually awards the DIVR Science Award. Therefore, we are looking for the most innovative applications and concepts of German universities every year.


The award for pioneering extended reality research in Germany!

It’s not just the jury that can see the innovative power of German universities for themselves at the Places _ VR Festival. As visitors, you can also test the applications, talk to the students, lecturers and professors and gain completely new insights into the dynamic research scene around VR & AR. On Friday from 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m., the nominees for the award will be in the underground car park of the Science Park and look forward to your visit!

The jury has nominated 21 universities in 3 categories

best concept

The most innovative approach, the most creative use of Extended Reality or the most exciting experiment in the competition will be awarded. The focus of the evaluation is on the best intellectual achievement.

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

best impact

The project with the greatest potential to initiate or accelerate social change receives this award. Which project has the greatest social, economic,
ecological or scientific relevance? Prototypes must already demonstrate this potential.

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

best tech

The award goes to the application or product that stands out due to its convincing realisation. The jury is looking for something special in the implementation, conceivable are: very good technical quality, high degree of technological innovation, unique aesthetics, resource-saving execution and much more.

DIVR Science Award Winning Teams 2021

DIVR Science Award - best concept

DIVR Science Award - best concept

HTW Berlin - paradigm shift

In the application, which was presented by Maria Bürger from HTW Berlin, one enters into dialogue with a virtual voice assistant. In the immersive experience, it becomes clearer to the user over time how artificial intelligences react to human input and how we ourselves can be manipulated by artificial intelligence. From the jury's point of view, it was remarkable how, especially after the experience, users were lastingly impressed and the application actually leads to a better understanding of AI technology.

DIVR Science Award - best impact

DIVR Science Award - best impact

TU Dortmund | Ruhr-Uni Bochum | Uni Duisburg-Essen - Virtual Reality Moves

The application "Virtual Reality Moves" uses VR to bring people with and without disabilities together and thus overcome barriers. In this project, student teachers from the fields of special education, sports science and computer science worked together under the direction of Dr. Caterina Schäfer on research projects that resulted in the actual application. Here, the jury praised the interdisciplinary approach, which raises the topic of learning and cooperation in the field of special education to a new conceptual level.

DIVR Science Award - best tech

DIVR Science Award - best tech

Hochschule Esslingen - MRiLS

MRiLS stands for "Mixed Reality in the Loop Simulation" and is a combination of classic industrial simulation, browser-based AR/VR application and the possibility of bringing digital twins into VR. The simulation from Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, represented by Marc Schniere and team, is in that sense a classic Industry 4.0. application that has both a research approach and a very practical benefit for companies. The jury highlighted the device independence thanks to the browser-based software.

Watch it again now: DIVR Science Award _ 2021 in Re-Live-Video

Wissenschaft trifft Extended-Reality - wir suchen dein Projekt!


best concept

Lucid Dream

HTW Berlin
Exploring a VR dream world – controlled only with the users mind.

paradigm shift

HTW Berlin
VR experience that makes the phenomenon of “AI” tangible.

Don’t touch

Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle
VR exhibition that makes exhibits touchable by with haptic gloves.

MARLA-Masters of Malfunction

Technische Universität Berlin
VR training application as maintenance training for offshore installations.

Ai.vatar – der virtuelle intelligente Assistent

Universität Witten/Herdecke
Realistic artificial intelligences that can interact multimodally in VR.

WizARd: Gewässertiefenvermessung via XR

TU Dortmund
AR application that visualises water depth measurement for navigation.


Experimentallabor: Nachhaltigkeit und Virtual Reality

Universität Bremen
VR prototypes whose function & impact aims at compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

best tech

Multimodaler VR-Fahrradsimulator

Technische Universität Chemnitz
Multisensory and realistic VR bicycle simulator

Project HapTisch

Technische Universität Chemnitz
Real haptics in VR through infrared cameras and ultrasound modules.

Interaktive Lichtsteuerung in einer Architektur Visualisierung

Hochschule Kaiserslautern
Light dimmer for architecture visualisations in VR.

Super Nubibus 1834

Hochschule Karlsruhe
Hybrid VR experience that makes the experience of a balloon ride seem realistic thanks to innovative interfaces.

Mixed-Reality-in-the-Loop Simulation (MRiLS)

Hochschule Esslingen
Multimodal and terminal-independent training of technical specialists in MR.

Enter the Hindenburg

Hochschule Karlsruhe
Interactive discovery of an “intangible cultural heritage”, the airship Hindenburg in VR.


Hochschule Ruhr West
VR simulation for training human-robot interactions in industry.

best impact

Augmented Participation

HAW Hamburg
Participation in urban development through AR


Hochschule Karlsruhe
VR game as a rehabilitation application in arm injuries

Virtual Boxing Simulator

Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen
VR game that playfully encourages to perform sports.


Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
VR application for preventive empathy promotion concerning cyberbullying.

Virtueller Leichenfund

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
VR training for doctors who discover corpses and perform inquests.

Next Atmosphere

Folkwang Universität der Künste
MR application that fosters childrens creativity

Virtual Reality Moves – Bewegung im digitalen Lernlabor

TU Dortmund | Ruhr-Universität Bochum | Universität Duisburg-Essen 
VR learning concept that teaches self-efficacy in the use of digital media.

Volksbank Ruhr-Mitte supports the DIVR Science Award with prizes in all categories

Collaborative project

The DIVR Science Award is a cooperation project of the Places _ VR Festival and the DIVR.
The festival has been held in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf since 2018 and has been the venue for the award ceremony ever since. Together, the DIVR and the Places _ team nominate the shortlist for the award.
The Places _ Virtual Reality Festival is Germany’s first, largest, freely accessible and free festival for virtual reality. The festival is aimed equally at a professional audience, but especially at a broad public audience, and has been taking place in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf since 2018.

DIVR Science Award Posts

Review DIVR Science Award 2018 & 2019

This year again, the DIVR Science Award will be presented in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf. Together with the German Institute for Virtual Realities, we are looking for university projects that produce [...]

Innovation from the garage

Apple, Google or Amazon – the story of these three tech companies began in a garage. So that’s where the ideas that can change the world are born. That’s why there were real innovations to be [...]