”We remain focused, act quickly and don’t waste any valuable resources.”Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, Member of the Board of Management SCHOTT AG
When it comes to the systematic process of innovation and technology management, the various Business Units and central units like Innovation Management and Controlling, R&D and the patent department work together very closely. For SCHOTT, being able to describe possible developments in great detail in the Business Unit-specific innovation roadmaps is extremely important. The company is then able to discuss the general direction and projects with the Business Units and central research department and assign priorities. ”This ensures that we remain focused, can act quickly and don’t waste any valuable resources,” explains Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, the member of the Board of Management of SCHOTT ag responsible for research and development. For this reason, innovation strategy is included in the Business Units’ annual planning process. It forms the basis for innovation roadmaps that list the specific innovation projects (products and technologies) that can help in executing the innovation strategy for the respective BU. An ”InnoMarketKit” is available to help employees look for ideas in a systematic manner. This offers information on modern market concepts like ’Open Innovation’. These approaches are intended to open up the innovation process to the outside world. Company and department-specific key performance indicators (KPI) are then used to monitor whether the innovation objectives that have been set in the innovation strategy are being achieved. As a unit that does development work and conducts research on the basis of its technological expertise, but also supports the Business Units with their activities, the central research department plays an important role in innovation and technology management. The Business Units and central research and analytics are linked in many different ways. ”Our employees are the key success factor in our technology management. We can only come up with new ideas with their help and they also have the internal and external ties to our customers and the universities,” Dr. Konz explains. For this reason, schott places a lot of importance on awards, expert careers and a reserve budget to support new ideas in order to motivate and recognize its people. And successfully so: the new product rate now exceeds 30 percent. The patent department is also firmly anchored to technology management. This department successfully assists research, development, manufacturing and sales on achieving their objectives and manages alle patent-related manners. For instance, schott currently owns more than 2,500 global patents.
The company excelled in benchmarking by presenting practical examples like the development of back contact modules (see page 16) and PV modules with improved cell and module technology. ”We are quite pleased with being recognized as a ’Successful Practice Company’. This confirms that we are on the right track with our strategy,” Dr. Konz concludes. <|
Research & Technology Development
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