Consortium Benchmarking - WZL honors Companies with excellent disruptive Innovation Processes




Dr.-Ing. Christian Dölle

Chief Engineer


+49 241 80 27568



At the final conference on October 6, 2016, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University presented the five best companies of its worldwide benchmarking in the field of "Managing Breakthrough Innovations" together with a top-class industrial consortium. The aim of the benchmarking project was to identify particularly successful approaches and concepts in the systematic management of breakthrough innovations or radical innovation. The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL awarded Plug and Play, International SOS, Endress+Hauser Management AG, Stryker GmbH & Co. KG and Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. as "Successful Practices".

  Group picture of winners Copyright: © WZL Group picture with all award winners of the Consortium Benchmarking

The "Successful Practices" were determined in cooperation with a jury of experts from successful international companies, who also provided the consortium for the project. The consortium included 3M Deutschland GmbH, OSRAM GmbH, Voith GmbH, Miele & Cie. KG , Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG , Robert Bosch Household Appliances GmbH , Liebherr-International Deutschland GmbH, Busch-Jaeger Elektro GmbH, Freudenberg SE, BMW AG, ThyssenKrupp AG, Siemens AG, Hilti Deutschland AG, Academy of German Cooperatives ADG e.V. and Rosen Group. Professor Günther Schuh, Director of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and Fraunhofer IPT, headed the project.

At the start of the project in October 2015, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University initially worked out the current challenges and questions in the field of "Managing Breakthrough Innovations" in close cooperation with the consortium. These formed the basis for a detailed written survey. The companies provided answers to selected topics such as the identification of breakthrough innovations, the evaluation of radical innovation, organisational forms and processes as well as culture and mindset.

A total of 137 companies worldwide took part in the benchmarking. Around 69 percent of the participants came from the DACH region, 12 percent from the rest of the EU, 11 percent from China, 3 percent from the USA and 3 percent from Israel.

Extensive interviews with the most promising candidates led to ten detailed, anonymous case studies, which were presented to the consortium partners during a review meeting in April 2016. On this basis, the consortium selected the five best companies.

The consortium partners then visited the selected companies and analysed them on site. In all cases it was confirmed that the selected companies use particularly successful approaches and procedures and can rightly call themselves "Successful Practices".

Final conference with presentations by the best

During the final conference last Thursday, the project findings were presented in the form of ten action-guiding theses. The representatives of the winning companies presented what a successful implementation in practice can look like in their own presentations and then accepted their awards.