EJOT SE & Co. KG is part of the innovation elite in Germany. The family-owned company, headquartered in Bad Berleburg, convinced with innovation qualities in a scientific selection process and receives the seal "TOP 100" - an award which is given to particularly innovative medium-sized companies. Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar presented the TOP 100 seal to Prof Dr Ralph Hellmig, Director of Research and Development at EJOT, and Ralf Birkelbach, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), on the occasion of the "Deutscher Mittelstands-Summit" (German SME summit) in Augsburg. EJOT had already successfully participated in the TOP 100 competition in 2016.
On behalf of compamedia, the initiator of the competition, the innovation researcher Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke from Vienna University of Economics and Business and his team have analysed EJOT based on more than 100 criteria from five categories: innovation-promoting top management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organisation, external orientation/open innovation and innovation success. It is particularly important to know if a company's innovations are just a random product or if they are systematically planned and thus repeatable in the future.
"We want to be technology leader - that is our benchmark," stresses Christian Kocherscheidt, Managing Partner of the EJOT Group. "Our ambition is that our innovations actually lead to customer-orientated solutions," Kocherscheidt says. More than 2,100 patents reflect the innovation success of the family-owned company.
EJOT offers a broad range of innovative fastening elements, such as self-tapping screws for metal and plastics as well as engineered plastic and metal formed parts. EJOT products offer potential for the transformation of the economy from fossil combustion to climate-friendly, new technologies, be it in the automotive industry in the transformation to electromobility or the lightweight and mixed construction of bodyshells, or in the construction industry in building insulation, the use of renewable energies and their secure fastening.
"TOP 100 is about the question of how important the innovation goal is within the company," says Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke, scientific director of the competition. "Do routines and habits dominate or is the company able to question the status quo, to think creatively and out of the box and to successfully implement innovations on the market? We analyse this ability on the basis of more than 100 assessment criteria," Franke explains.
To ensure that all applicants have the same chances, the seal is awarded in three size categories: Up to 50, 51 - 200 and more than 200 employees. In the anniversary year of TOP 100 - the innovation competition currently takes place for the 30th time - interest was particularly high: 550 small and medium-sized companies applied. 300 of them were successful and received the TOP 100 seal. A maximum of 100 companies per size category can be awarded.