nominated by more than 1,400 municipalities, institutions, chambers, associations, companies and individuals. No other economic competition in Germany has enjoyed such significance and such a response, both of which have developed and lasted the many years since its establishment by the Oskar Patzelt Foundation in 1994. The prize does not include a monetary award. For the companies, it is solely about honour, public recognition and acknowledgment of their services, and without a financial incentive. This year, nationwide 685 companies (2015: 815) have reached the penultimate stage of the competition – the so-called ‘Jury list’.