Firm from Bremen joins Germany’s elite group of innovative companies. Award to be presented by Top 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar
The 23rd Top 100 awards for Germany’s most innovative SMEs presented this year included the BEGO Group. The Bremen-based firm took part in a rigorous, scientific selection process that analysed innovation management and successful innovation. Ranga Yogeshwar, the competition mentor, presented the top innovators with their awards at the German SME Summit in Essen on June 24.
BEGO secured its place among Germany’s top innovators in 2016, thanks in particular to its outstanding innovations marketing. A specialist in dental prosthetics and implantology, BEGO invites its key customers to formulate their individual requirements for new developments at an early stage. “Feedback from the market during all phases of a project is of huge importance to our innovation processes,” affirmed managing partner Mr. Christoph Weiss.
The example of a 3D printer developed by BEGO in 2015 shows just how important this approach is to the innovative success of this family-owned business founded in 1890. The printer now enables dental laboratories to cut out a number of time- and cost-intensive tasks that previously had to be carried out manually, and allows rapid alternation between different materials for the manufacture of different products. In the test phase beforehand, selected customers were given the opportunity to subject prototypes of the new printer to a practical test and to define special requirements for the series product. “We were able to draw on this valuable expertise throughout the process,” commented Mr. Weiss.
In the past, the company’s workforce of some 450 employees has contributed at least 250 suggestions for improvements. This input is another reason why BEGO has six German and 29 international patents and sees itself as an innovation driver within the dental sector. Further momentum is generated by the firm’s international focus, with additional locations in countries including Turkey, Spain, Canada, France and the US.
This year, more than 4,000 companies registered an interest in taking part in the Top 100 competition, with 366 of them applying for the qualification round and 284 getting through to the finals. Ultimately, 238 made it into the Top 100(maximum of 100 in each of the three size categories). Once more, the companies were evaluated by Mr. Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and his team. They examined more than 100 parameters in the following five assessment categories: ‘Innovation-friendly Senior Management’, ‘Climate of Innovation’, ‘Innovative Processes and Organisation’, ‘Innovations Marketing’ and ‘Successful Innovations’.
The Top 100are among the pacesetters in their sectors. Statistics reveal that the evaluation process included 97 German market leaders and 32 global market leaders. On average, they generated 40 per cent of their recent revenue from innovations and product improvements, which they brought to the market before their competitors. Their revenue growth rate was 28 percentage points higher than the average for their industries. In the last three years, these SMEs have together applied for a total of 2,292 German and international patents. This ability to innovate also pays dividends in terms of jobs, with the Top 100planning to take on around 9,500 new employees in the next three years.
The Top 100’s mentor, science journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, is impressed by the quality of the companies and hopes they will become role models. “The way in which the Top 100companies generate new ideas and develop groundbreaking products and services based on them is remarkable in the truest sense of the word. I am delighted that the award highlights these qualities. I hope their success will encourage others to follow in their footsteps, because this culture of innovation is going to become increasingly important for all companies.”