The innovative character of the SAOT research and training activities is based on the novelty of ideas coming from a strong fundament of knowledge being created by an extensive experience in the particular field, their implementation into practical research and the transfer into commercially available systems and products. In all these steps the DCs are involved. More than 10 patents have been filed so far with DCs as co-inventors. To kindle innovations, SAOT will run DCs “innovation competitions” with short proposals for “blue sky research ideas” in which the best ideas will be awarded the SAOT Innovation Award with a prize money of 20,000 Euros once a year to carry out feasibility studies.