Award-winning innovation: Award for “Open Innovation”
Award-winning innovation: PROXIA Software AG from Ebersberg near Munich has received the TOP 100 seal once more in 2021. Once again, PROXIA has emerged as one of the TOP 100 small-to-medium sized enterprises from a field of 267 representing a wide range of industries. This award, presented for the 28th time, recognises innovative companies. The basic motivation behind the award is an independent science-based audit by Scientific Director of TOP 100, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, on behalf of compamedia. This focuses on five categories relating to innovation. PROXIA scored particularly highly in the “External Involvement” category with their new Open Innovation concept, which allows companies to implement ideas, technologies, and solutions quicker with regard to production optimisation.
Innovation expert Prof. Dr Nikolaus Franke and his team drawn from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, audited the innovation performance of 267 companies for this year’s host of the TOP 100 innovation competition. The academics set around 120 audit criteria in five categories: Innovation-friendly senior management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organisation, external involvement/open innovation, and successful innovations. At the heart of this lies the question of whether innovations are the result of a structured process or are a random product, in other words, the repeatability of innovations, and whether or how the corresponding solutions can best succeed in the market. Due to the current situation, this year’s competition included a special section in which companies’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis were also examined. PROXIA scored particularly highly in the “External Involvement” category with their new Open Innovation concept, which allows companies to implement ideas, technologies, and solutions quicker with regard to production optimisation. This medium-sized enterprise is, for the second time, a top innovator for 2021.
“Open Innovation”: Thriving partnerships drive innovation forward
In particular in this era of digitisation and the increasing importance of digital business models, it is crucial that the innovation process is also opened up to all departments within production enterprises. PROXIA helps companies to digitise their production through solutions designed according to the “Open Innovation” principle. “Increasing complexity, growing uncertainty, ever shorter product lifecycles, digital transformation - it’s clear that the challenges facing companies continue to multiply. Creativity, speed, and expertise are essential for successful innovation. With our MES software, a great deal of process and production expertise, we actively contribute towards encouraging ideas, technologies, and solutions for quicker results from innovations, including of course faster implementation in our in-house production,” says Julia Klingspor, summarising the philosophy behind the term “Open Innovation” at PROXIA.
Innovative use of digitisation with cloud technologies
PROXIA also won high praise from the judging panel this year for their innovations in the technical product areas of their software portfolio. Head of Sales, Eduard Weissmüller, summarises the solution with its outstanding benefits for the user: “Clouds are like an “extended workbench” for production data. Online and offline databases must be properly combined. PROXIA has developed an MES system for the hybrid operation of both concepts for future-proof, secure, and extensive digitisation, which combines the benefits of central data warehousing with the advantages of cloud-based data storage. For all types of data, users can therefore decide whether to file it locally in their in-house IT infrastructure or in an external cloud.” Thanks to its hybrid MES solution, PROXIA enables production enterprises to turn the opportunities of digital transformation into concrete benefits, with a more flexible and efficient production operation better able to respond to rapidly changing market requirements.
Tough challenges produce innovation
2020 was hugely challenging for companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We not only managed to help our customers, but also our employees through this difficult period. This included, for example, customer consultations regarding web tools and live chats, or the quick, smooth setup of home office workstations with a minimum of paperwork required. The direct line to our customers was also successfully digitised. Remote tools, for which we are setting the standard in terms of customer benefit and more efficient and quicker project implementation, have proven their worth during the pandemic, especially in this area of project implementation,” explains Julia Klingspor. Scientific Director of TOP 100, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, is greatly impressed by the small-to-medium sized award winners. “The TOP 100 companies have also remained committed to innovation even throughout an extremely difficult year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he explains. On 26 November 2021, there will be a further chance to celebrate as all the award winners from the current TOP 100 year come together at the 7th German SME Summit in Ludwigsburg to receive congratulations from Ranga Yogeshwar. The science journalist has been part of the competition for the last ten years as a mentor.
TOP 100: The Competition
Prof. Dr Nikolaus Franke, Scientific Director of TOP 100, is greatly impressed by the small-to-medium sized award winners. “The TOP 100 companies have made it their mission to be as innovative as possible,” he explains.
On 26 November there will be a further chance to celebrate as all the award winners from the current TOP 100 year come together at the 7th German SME Summit in Ludwigsburg to receive congratulations from Ranga Yogeshwar. The science journalist has been part of the competition for the last ten years as a mentor.
Since 1993, compamedia has issued the TOP 100 seal to SME companies for outstanding innovative spirit and success. The academic aspects of the award have been overseen since 2002 by Prof. Dr Nikolaus Franke. Franke is the founder and Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. With 25 research awards and more than 200 publications to his name, he is one of the leading innovation experts worldwide. Mentor of the TOP 100 is the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners include the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, and the BVMW (German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses). Media partners like manager magazin and impulse, provide support for company comparisons. More information and registration at www.top100.de.