IKA-Werke GmbH & Co. KG is a family business that is steeped in tradition. In 1910, the company was founded as a supplier for pharmacies and hospitals — today, the top innovator has its headquarters in Staufen and is the global market leader for laboratory technology, analysis and process technology. Being awarded the "Top 100 Innovator" seal of approval three times is a testimony to the success of IKA. Continuing this trend, IKA achieved second place in the category for companies with over 250 employees this year. The company, based in Staufen im Breisgau, employs over 800 people at eight locations on four continents. President and Owner, René Stiegelmann is always coming up with new ideas. He allots 70% of his working hours to innovation activities. "We set high standards for the functionality and durability of our products. That is why we constantly strive to improve on what we have achieved," explains Stiegelmann.
Since customer requirements can be very specific, the company needs highly customized innovation processes. For example, if customers cannot find a suitable solution in the existing IKA product portfolio, they can contact the Customizing Center. In this department, engineers will assess the feasibility of a customer request. Processes can be realistically simulated and presented to the customer on a small scale by using one or more of the several pilot systems. In the Application Support Lab, customers can learn more about the devices suitable for their applications or experiments.
"Good ideas and their rapid implementation are a key competitive factor for us," explains René Stiegelmann. "This is why we invest a great deal of time and money in our innovation management processes. As part of this, we rely on the wealth of ideas that come from all of our employees. I would like to thank them all for helping us achieve the 'Top 100 Innovator' award."
The "Top 100" seal of approval is awarded after a two-stage review process developed by Professor Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Analysts investigate the innovation management processes and their success using over 100 parameters across five categories. The decision on which medium-sized company is awarded the "Top 100" seal of approval is solely made by the analyst panel.