Essen – Innovation leaders of German SMEs are awarded the TOP 100 seal for the 24th time. In an independent selection process, the companies impressed with well-structured innovation processes, a fertile innovation climate, and above-average innovation successes. The mentor of the TOP 100 competition, the science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, honors the top innovators within the framework of the award ceremony at the 4th Summit of German SMEs on June 23, 2017 in the city of Essen.

A total of 262 companies in three size categories (maximum 100 per size category) are the lucky ones: they have now scientifically documented the fact that they are among the most innovative medium-sized companies. They may therefore bear the TOP 100 seal awarded for the 24th time.

The innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, together with his team, reviewed 414 applications on behalf of compamedia. Of these, 305 companies made it to the final. “I have been the scientific director of TOP 100 for 14 years, and every year I am excited about the innovations that are visible here,” says Franke, who is also a guest researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He thinks the companies are well prepared for the future: “TOP 100 illustrates in an exemplary fashion how the companies are realizing competitive advantages with innovations – not only today, but also with a view to their future market position.”

Figures prove the exceptional position of the top innovators. Among them this year are 101 national market leaders and 26 global market leaders. Over the past three years, they have filed a total of 1,226 international and national patents. Their sales growth in the previous five years was 20 percentage points above the growth of their respective industries. At the same time, they achieved 38% of their sales with new market innovations and innovative improvements. This result makes these companies job engines: They plan on creating almost 9,500 new jobs by 2018.

The path to such successes is not always easy, as Ranga Yogeshwar explains as mentor of the competition: “Successful innovators often experience a headwind. They change processes, break rules in their industries, experience setbacks, and still dare to move forward with new ideas. They stay with it, supported by the conviction that they are making things better. This is what sets them apart.”

TOP 100: The Competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal to SMEs for special innovation strength and above-average innovation successes. The scientific management has been in the hands of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke since 2002. Franke is a board member of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Tourism and a guest researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With 18 research awards and over 200 publications, he is one of the world’s leading innovation researchers. Science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar is the mentor of TOP 100. The project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research and the SME Association BVMW. As a media partner, the journal manager magazin accompanies the company comparison. More information is available at www.top100-germany.com.

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