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Advanced technology to produce solar cells
© dpa
‘Hidden Champions’: German mid-size companies lead through innovations

April 18, 2008

Michael Glos, Federal Minister of Business and Technology, calls them “engines of the economy”: with unabashed entrepreneurial courage and sharp sense for economic trends, middle-sized companies in Germany tend to discover special innovative niches – quite frequently making them markets leaders in their branch of work. The business that these ‘Hidden Champions’ work at passionately is strengthening their locations and creating a better future.

Making potential visible

With outstanding innovations, many medium-size companies have succeeded in becoming market leaders in their branch of business in the past years. That makes them the backbone of stable economic development.

Two examples: after years of research in his private lab in a garage, Dr. Reinmar Peppmöller came up with the recipe for ‘geohumus’ – granules that conserves water resources and can turn dry areas into flourishing landscapes. Dr. Wulf Bentlage, a physician, immediately recognized the value of this invention – and the Frankfurt/Main-based company Geohumus international GmbH was born.

‘Turn Wind into Profit’ is the motto of Stefan Wrage's SkySails GmbH. The Hamburg based company with approximately 30 employees develops, produces and sells wind powered kite hauling systems for the shipping industry. Environmentally friendly wind energy is harnessed to reduce cargo ships’ fuel consumption in a very unconventional way.

Innovations like these have become very popular: Wulf Bentlage has been able to interest potential clients in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And Stefan Wrage is one of the Technology Pioneers of 2008, a group selected yearly by a panel of judges at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.



© Land of Ideas
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