Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Founder Hasso Plattner

Prof. Hasso Plattner places a high priority on future-oriented research. The Berlin native is co-founder of SAP and founder of Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). His commitment to forward-looking technologies and innovations extends far beyond the walls of the institute.

Founder Hasso Plattner

Hasso Plattner - Successfully linking Science and Business

Prof. Hasso Plattner (born January 21, 1944 in Berlin) has been successfully linking business and science for decades. Plattner, majored in Communications Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and graduated with an advanced degree in engineering.

He began his professional career in 1968 at IBM. Four years later, together with four former colleagues, Plattner founded the enterprise software group SAP. Today, the company has 80,000 employees worldwide.

In addition to his business career, Plattner is also passionate about research and science. In 1994 Plattner received an honorary professorship in Business Informatics from the University of Saarbrücken. Since 2004 Hasso Plattner has been active in this capacity at the University of Potsdam and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University.


Plattner’s Institute for Software Systems Engineering

In addition to his activities as professor, Plattner made plans to establish his own institute. In the summer of 1998, he announced the founding of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI).

The Berlin native chose the state capital of Brandenburg as the location. Potsdam is "the ideal location for future-oriented research and teaching, with the strong appeal of the Havel landscape and historical heritage," says Plattner.

“The institute here in Potsdam is my contribution to training  internationally competitive junior managers, who help to shape and advance the digital world.”  

Prof. Hasso Plattner

Hasso Plattner Honored

Hasso Plattner received the Werner-von-Siemens Ring, one of the most important scientific and technical awards in Germany. (News from December 2018)

The first 77 students began their studies at HPI just one year later. The following year, in the immediate vicinity of the Griebnitzsee lake, the cornerstone was laid for the institute's own building. Now, in 2019, HPI is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Since then Hasso Plattner has supported the institute’s continuous growth. In the fall of 2016, the patron of science announced the comprehensive expansion of HPI. A few months later, HPI and the University of Potsdam jointly founded the "Digital Engineering Faculty"—the first privately financed faculty of a public university in Germany.

  • Learn more about the history of HPI here.

In the following video, Hasso Plattner explains his vision of an independent faculty for digital engineering at the University of Potsdam.

Video: The Visionary Hasso Plattner

Plattner not only finances HPI, as head of the “Enterprise Platform and Integration Concepts” department, he has also made a personal commitment to research and teaching.

His initiative has facilitated a number of groundbreaking innovations. One of the most significant examples is HPI’s research into in-memory data management (a project Plattner personally oversaw). The project led to the creation of HANA, a product of the SAP software corporation. In 2012 this technology received both the German Innovation Award and the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Award.

In spring 2023, Prof. Plattner held his last lecture at the HPI and was released from his duties.

Plattner's outstanding engagement

Hasso Plattner's commitment is second to none and can be felt far beyond SAP and HPI. With international and national projects, the founder not only acts as a driving force for science and research but is also active in the educational and cultural sectors. For this purpose he foundet the Hasso Plattner Foundation in 2015.

International Engagement of Hasso Plattner

The promotion of future-oriented research, innovation and entrepreneurship is particularly important to HPI’s dedicated patron and founder.

Overview: International Engagement of Hasso Plattner

Engagement in the Berlin-Brandenburg region

In addition to his many international projects, Plattner's engagement has always focused on the region of Berlin-Brandenburg.

Overview of Plattner's engagement in the region:

Museum Barberini in Potsdam

Commitment to Art and Culture

Hasso Plattner's commitment has also left its mark on art and culture.

Visitors to the "Museum Barberini" in Potsdam experience a building modeled after a palace, which was destroyed in World War II and later reconstructed as a museum based on Plattner’s vision. Our former Chancellor Angela Merkel and former German President Joachim Gauck were among the first of the distinguished guests to visit Museum Barberini when it opened on January 20, 2017.

The exhibitions range from the old masters to contemporary art, with a focus on Impressionism. Based on works from the collection of Hasso Plattner, the museum’s founder and patron, the Museum Barberini presents three temporary exhibitions each year with major loans from international private collections and museums. The exhibitions are planned at academic conferences with international curators and researchers. In addition, the rotating Art Stories presentations place prominent works in a new context and increase awareness of original artworks.

THE MINSK arthouse in Potsdam (Photo: Lukas Spörl)

Located just a few hundred meters from the Barberini, the MINSK KUNSTHAUS opened in Potsdam in September 2022. It is a unique place that combines art and history. The former terrace restaurant "Minsk" had become increasingly dilapidated after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2019, it was purchased by the Hasso Plattner Foundation, and construction work began in 2020, with the building's architecture revealing preservation and renewal at the same time and retaining its name. "The building is a place of happy memories for many Potsdam residents. The style of the GDR is part of Potsdam's history and I want to give it back to the people of Potsdam," Hasso Plattner explained. The exhibitions at MINSK KUNSTHAUS feature art from the former German Democratic Republic, which are part of the Hasso Plattner Collection, as well as contemporary art.

Plattners Honors and Awards

Plattner's achievements as a founder and socially dedicated person are as unusual as they are extraordinary and have been recognized with multiple awards.

In 1990 the University of Saarbrücken awarded Plattner an honorary doctorate. In 1998 Plattner received the title of Honorary Senator from the University of Saarland. Since 2002 he has held an honorary doctorate from the University of Potsdam.

In 2015 Plattner received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the German American Business Association (GABA) in the USA. In February 2016 Plattner was awarded the Heinrich Hertz Guest Professorship by the University of Karlsruhe and the President of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

In 2018 Hasso Plattner was awarded the Werner von Siemens Ring.


Overview of Plattner's Honors

Please find below an overview of Plattner's honors:

  • The Jewish Museum Berlin awarded Prof. Hasso Plattner the 2016 “Award for Understanding and Tolerance”, honoring his engagement for a peaceful and respectful co-existence.
  • In 2012 Plattner was awarded the Global Benefactor Award by the Churchill Club in the U.S.
  • In 2010 he was awarded the AmCham Transatlantic Partnership Award in Berlin.
  • In 2007 the Brandenburg state government honored him with its Order of Merit.
  • In 2006 the U.S. magazine Time named Plattner one of the “heroes” of the past 60 years.
  • The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities honored Plattner with the Leibniz Medal in 2005. That same year, popular German science magazine P.M. named him its Innovation Patron of the Year.
  • In 2001 Plattner received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also in 2001, he topped Time Europe’s list of the most important and influential people in IT.
  • After receiving the prestigious Information Technology Leadership Award for Global Integration in 1997, Plattner was welcomed into Manager magazine’s Hall of Fame the following year.