Germany's most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) possess outstanding inventive capabilities, use exemplary innovation processes and are highly adept at translating ideas into market success. Ranga Yogeshwar presented these companies with the prestigious Top 100 award in Friedrichshafen on 22 June. This is the second time that hawo GmbH from Obrigheim, Baden-Wurttemberg has won this accolade.
The panel of judges was particularly impressed by the innovations marketing practised by this world leader in medical packaging systems for hospitals and doctors' surgeries. A well thought out communications mix ensured that its new product, ValiPak, became a brand name within a year. This packaging system for sterile instruments produced by a family firm with fewer than 70 employees sets new standards in medical practice. Surgeries now have access to a fully monitored packaging process that was previously only suitable for hospitals but can now take place in a very small space. In daily practice instruments are washed and disinfected after a patient has been treated and then packaged before being sterilised. This ensures that they remain sterile within their packaging until the next treatment. The equipment available before now was only used in hospitals due to its size and cost, but hawo's new device is a compact, affordable alternative.
Professor Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration have examined the innovations management systems used by small and medium-sized German companies. The best of them receive the prestigious Top 100 award. Christian Wolf, the firm's managing director, was delighted to have won this accolade and emphasised that this achievement had been a team performance. "I see this award as recognition of the work done by our staff. Their enthusiasm and efforts are the key driver behind our innovation. At the same time we have put in place the right processes to ensure that this creativity can unleash its full productive potential. Our success is a combination of these two factors."
compamedia - in collaboration with the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration - presents awards to a total of 100 firms, which include 51 domestic market leaders and 20 global market leaders, such as hawo. All of these companies together generated total revenue of approximately Euro 8.1 billion in 2011. In the past three years, 100 of them achieved growth that exceeded the industry average - by an average of 20 percentage points. The prize-winning SMEs invested a total of Euro 623 million in research & development and innovation processes in 2011 and plan to recruit almost 6,000 employees over the next three years, expanding their workforces by 12 per cent.
The project's mentor is the journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar.
Since 2002 this project has been coordinated by Dr Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The focus of his research is on entrepreneurship, innovations management and marketing. He is one of the world's leading experts in the field of user innovation.
Organiser: compamedia - mentor to the best SMEs
compamedia GmbH, which was founded in 1993 and employs 20 people, organises the nationwide company benchmarking competitions Top 100, Top Job, Top Consultant and Ethics in Business. In doing so, it assists and awards prizes to SMEs that achieve outstanding results in the areas of innovation, human resource management, consulting and corporate social responsibility. compamedia works closely with leading universities on these projects.
The Top 100 project partners are the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW), the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, innovations-report, the German Centre for Productivity and Innovation (RKW), SchmidtColleg GmbH & Co. KG, VDE - the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, and the consultancy Weissman & Cie. The media partner is the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.