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Germany’s Highest Civilian Honour Conferred on Indian Innovator, Entrepreneur and Founder of TheDialog Website, Ms. Anandi Iyer

3 weeks ago
Germany’s Highest Civilian Honour

New Delhi, 20-06-2024 – Anandi Iyer, Director of the Fraunhofer Office, India, has received the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) from the German government. This prestigious award acknowledges her exceptional contributions to Indo-German relations over the past 25 years, aligning with the 50-year celebration of Indo-German Science and Technology Cooperation. 


For over 16 years, Ms. Iyer has led the Fraunhofer Office in India, fostering robust collaborations between India and Europe in science and technology. Her efforts have propelled innovation and applied research in areas such as smart cities, renewable energy, smart manufacturing, and digitalisation. She is a key member of the Indo-German Expert Group on Digitalisation, established by the governments of both nations. 


Presenting the award, Dr. Philipp Ackermann, German Ambassador to India and Bhutan, stated, “Ms Anandi Iyer’s exemplary work has not only strengthened the Indo-German relationship but has also paved the way for significant advancements in technology and innovation between the two countries. Her dedication to empowering women in science and technology is truly inspiring. It is an honour to present her with the Bundesverdienstkreuz, acknowledging her invaluable contributions and relentless spirit.”

The Bundesverdienstkreuz, Germany’s highest civilian honour, recognizes Ms. Iyer’s relentless commitment to fostering international collaboration, innovation, and the empowerment of women in science and technology. This accolade highlights her significant global impact and reaffirms the importance of her work in the Indo-European partnership. 


Expressing her gratitude, Anandi Iyer said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the Bundesverdienstkreuz. This recognition is not just a personal milestone but a testament to the power of international collaboration and the incredible potential we unlock when we work together across borders. I remain committed to fostering innovation and supporting women in STEM, ensuring that our future is inclusive, diverse, and driven by shared knowledge and expertise.” 


In addition to her role at Fraunhofer, Ms. Iyer is the Chairperson of the Women in Science and Entrepreneurship Council (WISE) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). She also co-chairs the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee at FICCI, where she champions the inclusion and advancement of women in STEM fields. 

Recognizing her expertise and leadership, the Government of India nominated her as one of the “75 Women in STEAM” on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence anniversary and appointed her as a Core Member of the ‘G20 Empower’ initiative. She also chairs the G20 Empower Working Group on STEM, contributing to global efforts to enhance women’s participation in these critical fields. 


With over 20 years of experience in innovation and technology, Ms. Iyer previously served as a Special Advisor to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Government of Germany (BMBF). She has received numerous accolades, including the Outstanding Woman Achiever Award 2013 by ISBR School of Management and Public Relations Council of India, and was named one of the 51 Most Innovative Smart Cities Global Leaders by the World CSR Congress in January 2019. 


Ms. Iyer holds an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, UK, with advanced German Language certification from the Goethe Institute, New Delhi, and is currently pursuing her PhD from Leipzig University. 


Adding to her achievements, Ms. Iyer recently launched, a website aimed at bridging the gap between Germany and India. This initiative reflects her personal commitment to fostering constructive dialogue and cooperation between the two nations.