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German Innovation Award in Gold to uma

Redaktion PSI Journal

Published on 19.05.2021

The German Design Council has presented companies with the German Innovation Award for the fourth time now. This prize by the renowned institution, which is awarded annually, recognises meaningful product innovations that are on the one hand forward-looking, but also increasingly distinguish themselves through user-centred development and thereby make our everyday lives better and easier.

uma Schreibgeräte Ullmann GmbH is among the winners of the German Innovation Award in Gold – the highest accolade awarded by the jury in this prize. The company impresses in the competition class “Excellence in Business to Consumer” in the area of “Office & Stationery” with the uma recycled PET PEN writing instrument series, which is the world’s first writing instrument and marker series made of recycled PET material.

“While searching for the ‘right’ sustainable approach, we finally came across the recycled PET material”, explains Alexander Ullmann, CEO of uma Schreibgeräte Ullmann GmbH. “The last eight years have seen the continuous development of the series and the addition of new designs. Creating a truly sustainable writing instrument series was not only about the well-selected raw materials, but also about their processing and the resulting production and finishing of the writing instruments for the promotional products industry. The uma recycled PET PEN series has become the world’s first and only writing instrument series that is made from 100% recycled PET material, that is produced in a climate-neutral manner and that is certified in accordance with the Global Recycling Standards.”

In addition to a classic writing instrument (uma recycled PET PEN PRO), the series was expanded in 2021 to include a rollerball (uma recycled PET PEN PRO R), a fineliner (uma recycled PET PEN PRO F) and a liquid highlighter (uma recycled Pet Pen PRO Liqeo). The innovative liquid ink conduction system not only ensures soft and pleasant writing, but also ensures that the writing systems can generally be refilled or upgraded, which is another feature of the durable and sustainable series.

“The uma recycled PET PEN series is the first writing instrument and marker series worldwide made from recycled PET material. The series is produced in a climate-neutral manner and is certified in accordance with the Global Recycling Standards. The refills of all the brand’s writing instruments are refillable, something that is only logical and underscores the company’s commitment to sustainability. An exemplary product following a contemporary way of thinking yet meeting professional demands on durability, design and colouring – e.g. of advertisers or promotional products”, was the jury’s reasoning.

As with many other companies, uma has also involved future users and interested parties in product and design development. “The ‘Design Thinking’ methodology we employ takes user and customer needs into account. The focus is increasingly on the sustainability criteria that have to be met on top of the development of an economically relevant product”, Alexander Ullmann emphasises.

“We are very proud to have received the highest award in the category of relevance to us and to have been able to take the top spot in the face of 680 submissions. This shows us that investing in innovations in an everyday companion such as the writing instrument is not only sustainable, but also can be a venture full of success”, Jochen Ullmann, CEO of Ullmann Schreibgeräte Ullmann GmbH, is delighted to say.

Photo: Happiness about the award (from left): Jochen and Alexander Ullmann.