It's certainly a considerable achievement for Heraeus Medical, the biomaterials and medical devices specialist from Wehrheim, Germany. In late June, the Global Business Unit of the Heraeus technology group was honoured as a top innovator for the second time in succession at the summit of small and medium-sized German businesses in Essen, achieving second place in the category comprising companies with 50 to 250 employees. Dr. André Kobelt, Managing Director of Heraeus Medical, considers this renewed success in the "Top 100" to be particularly special: "Our outstanding ideas as well as their rapid implementation are a crucial factor in our competitive edge", he says. "That is why we invest a lot of time and effort in our innovation management. In doing so, we rely on the creativeness of all of our employees. It is thanks to them that we have achieved this "Top 100" award." It was the sophisticated innovation management in particular that the jury found convincing.
Recipe for success: concentration on innovative processes
Heraeus Medical develops and produces innovative biomaterials and bone cements for surgical orthopaedics and trauma surgery. So that the company can continue to live up to its reputation as an international market leader, more than one third of the 148 employees in Germany are committed exclusively to establishing innovative processes – from the optimisation of existing processes through to new developments. "Our employees are focused on individual areas of development", explains André Kobelt. "This allows us to ensure that we always dedicate the appropriate specialist to the required application." The "New Technologies" unit is paving the way for future innovations with new primary materials and production technologies. The "Product Innovation" division develops new product ideas. Universal functions are managed by the teams in the "Development Centre", who are working on areas such as infection management or resorbable materials and coordinate the development of know-how in these specialist disciplines. In the "Application Engineering" team, existing products are enhanced for the next product generation. This approach is bearing fruit: Heraeus has registered more than 120 national and international patents.
Receipt of the "Top 100" award is based on a two-part analysis that the innovation researcher Prof. Nikolaus Franke has developed together with his team at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business. The researchers review the innovation management and success of innovation at small and medium-sized businesses based on more than 100 parameters in five categories. This year, 234 companies made the final, with 178 receiving an award. Two thirds of the "Top 100" are family-owned companies. More at: www.top100-germany.com