Outstandingly innovative: Top 100 seal for Schwarz

Schwarz Elektromotoren is one of the most innovative medium-sized German companies / Tribute by Ranga Yogeshwar

Success through entrepreneurial vision: At the German medium-sized business summit on 26th June 2015, Schwarz Elektromotoren GmbH was distinguished as one of the most innovative medium-sized German companies. “Top 100” mentor Ranga Yogeshwar honoured the company from Rehau with the “Top 100” seal, which has been awarded for over 20 years. Before this, Schwarz Elektromotoren underwent a two-stage academic analysis process.

In the “Top 100”, Schwarz Elektromotoren GmbH stood out particularly for its innovation strength and for the promotion of innovation by the top management. Since owner and Managing Director Markus Schwarz became independent with the company 15 years ago, he has developed one new product after another. With 47 employees, the company produces electric motors for conveyor vehicles, electric cars, extinguishing systems, hybrid systems and shipbuilding and it markets these worldwide. “After the steam engine and the combustion engine, the future now belongs to the electric motor,” Schwarz and his Managing Director colleague Bärbel Feulner are certain.

The machine manufacturer from the Upper Franconian town of Rehau is among the international top group in this industry and invests a seven-figure sum every year in the development of its own innovative projects. With success: the “Top 100” company generated half of its turnover in 2014 with innovations and product optimisations, which it launched on the market ahead of the competition. Markus Schwarz generally works on the innovations himself – supported by three or four designers. Sales of one of his newest developments, a battery-powered electric motor that works with virtually no wear and adjusts the wings of wind turbines, have now reached over 60,000. At eCarTec 2014 in Munich, the engineer presented his latest idea: the prototype of a water-cooled electric motor with integrated transmission.

“Our good ideas and their quick implementation are a decisive competitive factor for us,” Managing Director Markus Schwarz explains. “That is why we invest a great deal of time and effort in our innovation management. We rely on the imagination of all employees here. My thanks are due to them for the achievement of the “Top 100” award.’

The award of the “Top 100” seal is based on a two-stage analysis developed by Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics. The academics examine the innovation management and innovation success of the medium-sized companies on the basis of over 100 parameters in five categories. Who is ultimately awarded the “Top 100” seal is decided by the academic management alone.

This year, Franke and his team examined more applications than ever before: of 302 qualifiers, 234 companies made it to the final. 178 of them received the award in three size classes (maximum of 100 companies per size class). The German medium-sized business summit in Essen forms the setting for the award presentation.

The “Top 100” are outstanding in every respect: they include 71 national market leaders and even 31 world market leaders. Together, the top innovators registered 3,405 national and international patents in the last three years. Almost 41 percent of their turnover was ultimately generated with market innovations and improvements launched on the market ahead of the competition (average of all SMEs in Germany: 6.6 percent). The success does not happen by chance: the top innovators invest an average of 10.5 percent of their turnover in research and development (average of all SMEs in Germany: 1.5 percent). Two thirds of the “Top 100” are family companies.

“Top 100”: The competition

Since 1993, compamedia has awarded the “Top 100” seal to medium-sized companies for special innovation strength and above-average innovation success. The academic management has been in the hands of Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics since 2002. The academic is one of the world’s leading experts on user innovation. The mentor of the “Top 100” is academic journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar. The project partner is the Fraunhofer society for the promotion of applied research. As a media partner, manager magazin oversees the comparison of companies. More information at www.top100.de.

compamedia, mentor to the best medium-sized companies

compamedia GmbH, which was founded in 1993, organises the nationwide “Top 100” comparison of companies (since 1993) and “Top Consultant” (since 2010). In this, the company works together with prestigious universities.


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