Honouring Exceptional Achievement
Basel and the surrounding area is fertile soil for creativity, innovation and social involvement. Countless people who grew up in Basel or moved here later in life turn their dreams and visions into reality and shape life in their city.
Innovative film projects, athletic achievements or the promotion of equal opportunities for all: The Canton of Basel-Stadt as well as numerous private institutions support these causes by awarding prizes and honours.
Among the most notable public awards are the Kulturpreis, a distinction for cultural achievements, and the Wissenschaftspreis, an award for excellence in science. The «schappo!» is a unique kind of distinction awarded for volunteer work and social responsibility. In addition, numerous awards sponsored by private donors honour small and great achievements – for example, there is a prize for the best dressed Christmas shop window, for successful small and medium-sized businesses, for contributions to greater energy efficiency, and for achievements that further the peaceful coexistence of people from different cultures.
Competitions of the Canton and City of Basel
Basel Promotional Culture Award
From 2012 the Basel Promotional Culture Award will be presented by the Culture Department and it is financially supported with a prize of CHF 10,000. It is an important addition to the Basel Culture Award as a cultural and political gesture for young cultural initiatives:
The townspeople of the City of Basel tender out the Civil community prize worth CHF 5,000. The prize is awarded every two years to Basel citizens who have been voluntarily engaged in the social sector for a long period of time. The focus is on their selfless service to fellow human beings:
The Cemetery Commission bestows this award for technically and artistically exemplary steles. The intention of this annual award is to raise the awareness of individually crafted headstones and at the same time to counteract the general degradation of the gravestone culture as a whole, along with the prevalent trend towards mass produced headstones:
The Basel Culture Award is endowed with a cash prize of CHF 20,000 and it is awarded every year by the Government on the recommendation made by a panel of experts convened by the Culture Department. The winner may be a person, group or institution, which is committed in a truly special way to the cultural life in Basel and rendered as being outstanding:
Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt is a state agency that works in the field of contemporary fine arts. Their tasks include the creation, preservation, documentation, research and mediation of a collection of about 5000 pieces and to promote regional artists with an annual competition programme:
Young Athletes Award
Young sportsmen and sportswomen have the opportunity of winning this annual award for outstanding achievements in sports, in the same way that the Basel Sports Champions are honoured. The juniors in the top age group, who have won 1st place in a Swiss Junior Championship or came 1st to 3rd in a European or World Junior Championship, and who are also a member of a Basel Sports Club, will be honoured with this award. The government presents the successful athletes with their certificates in the Grossratssaal (city hall) of the city parliament:
We say «schappo!» in an appreciative sense if a commitment deserves special esteem. And that is exactly the point. Three times a year, the Canton of Basel-Stadt awards a schappo to people who work as a volunteer to make the Canton of Basel-Stadt an attractive and healthy place to live:
In order to promote the occupational integration of people who are limited in their capacities due to social, mental or health reasons, the Canton of Basel-Stadt gives a prize of CHF 10,000 to companies who help train or employ such people in a way that goes beyond the normal call of duty and thus contribute to their sustainable professional and social integration or promote special integration programmes for such persons by assigning an order to them.
Proposals can be submitted to the Office for Economy and Labour
The prize of the City of Basel is granted to scholars and researchers, who are in some way affiliated with the University, as an award for their scientific achievement. The Science Award of the City of Basel is awarded ever year by the government. The prize money is worth CHF 20,000.
Competitions and contests based on a private initiative that have a strong bearing on the social life in Basel (selected in alphabetical order):
Basel Award for Social Cohesion (formerly Basel Prize for Integration)
The Basel Award for Social Cohesion was initiated jointly by the Protestant Reformed Church of Basel-Stadt, the Roman Catholic Church of Basel-Stadt, Novartis and the Christoph Merian Foundation, and was awarded for the first time in 2018. The prize money for organisations and individuals is 15,000 Swiss francs. Implemented projects that promote the peaceful coexistence of people from diverse social groups, nations, generations, backgrounds and with different world views can be submitted. Recognition is given to grassroots projects that have been created through private initiatives and directly benefit the population of the Basel region.
Basel film award
The aim of the BALIMAGE association is to make people aware of the importance of the film and media arts in the city and region of Basel. A prize is also awarded:
Basel Sports Award
For over two decades the Sports Journalists Association of Basel has been selecting the Basler sportsman, sportswoman and sports team of the year every December and presenting their awards in early January at the so-called Sports Champions Gala. In the selection process, the nationality of the winners is not taken into consideration, what is decisive is that they are involved in a Basel Sports Club. Famous people who have received the Sports Award are Roger Federer, Patty Schnyder and FC Basel.
Basler Stern (Basel Star)
A jury, composed of individuals from Basel, annually honours a person as thanks for their services to the city of Basel. No area of activity is excluded (i.e.: culture, sports, economy, etc.). The criteria are an above-average service over a long period of time, image as a personality and a significant impact for the city. The prize is not awarded in the form of money, but rather revolves around the presentation of the «Basel Star» within the context of a special distinction.
Contact person: Walter Brack, c/o Christoph Merian Foundation
The Sperber College awarded the title of «Ehrespalebärglemer» (Basel’s version of the «Walk of Fame») for the first time in 1976. It is awarded to individuals who champion the City of Basel in a positive way beyond its borders and make it well known. These are people of great initiative, people with skills in their respective specialist fields and who use these skills in a unique and exemplary manner.
Entrepreneur Award (North Switzerland)
The Swiss Venture Club rewards innovative companies that have attained significant sustainable economic success through outstanding achievements. The Entrepreneur Award is designed to help the enterprises and economic developments gain the justly deserved attention and publicity.
Northwest Switzerland Young Entrepreneurs’ Award
The Northwest Switzerland Young Entrepreneurs’ Award distinguishes innovative companies from the region of Northwest Switzerland, which were founded or significantly redeveloped over the last five years. It is awarded every two years, i.e. alternately with the Northwest Switzerland Entrepreneur Award (see below). It is supported by the Trade Association of Basel-Stadt and the Junge Basler Wirtschaftskammer (Young Basel Chamber of Commerce):
North Switzerland Entrepreneur (SME) Award
The prize is awarded to an SME that has made special contributions to increase the economic power of the region over the last two years. Especially worthy of distinction are: export success, successful partnerships, future-oriented investments and the creation of new jobs in the region. The award consists of a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize of CHF 10,000 and it is organised by the trade associations of the region: Employers’ Association Basel, Basler Volkswirtschaftsbund (Basel Economics Association), Handelskammer beider Basel, (Chamber of Commerce of both Kleinbasel and Grossbasel), Gewerbeverband Basel-Stadt (Commercial Association of Basel-Stadt), Wirtschaftskammer Baselland (Chamber of Commerce of Basel-Land).
Recognition award for a strong region (formerly a promotional award)
Individuals or organisations are awarded the prize if they played a significant role in the region of Basel in helping to remove any obstacles in the cooperation beyond the borders of the Canton or realised projects of regional importance: Vereinigung für eine Starke Region Basel/Nordwestschweiz (Association for a strong region of Basel/Northwest Switzerland).
Factor 5 Prizes
Factor 5 prizes are awarded each year by the sun21 association as part of the Factor 5 Festival. The prizes include a jury prize awarded by the members of the executive board of sun21 and an audience prize awarded following a public vote in the BaZ. Factor 5 cash prizes of CHF 5,000.00 are awarded for excellence in contributions to sustainable resource management and to achieving the goals of the “2000 Watt society”. Projects entered must have a clear link to the tri-national agglomeration of Basel.
Innovation Basel is a project competition launched by Basel city guilds and honorary societies. The central idea was to create a platform for innovative minds. It is aimed at all those who are involved in an innovative venture, area or project. The projects should have a connection to the Basel region, and they should be feasible and support positive change by means of their innovative strength. Innovation Basel does not limit entries in any way. The projects can be in various fields such as business, science, social affairs, culture or sports. The prize money totals 14,000 Swiss francs. An independent jury selects the ten finalists from the projects submitted each year.