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NanoFocus AG honored as Top Innovator

Honored by Ranga Yogeshwar at the German Small and Medium-sized Company Summit

Obernhausen-based NanoFocus AG is one of the Top Innovators of German small and medium-sized companies. The "Top 100" seal has been standing for innovative power, thirst for knowledge, and team spirit for more than 20 years. On June 27, the coveted award was given once more to the most successful think tanks in Germany. "Top 100" mentor and TV moderator Ranga Yogeshwar honored the companies at the German Small and Medium-sized Company Summit in Essen.

NanoFocus AG located in Oberhausen mainly scored in the "Top 100" competition with their innovation-promoting top management. The company management spends 45 percent of their work time on the development of new ideas, and it pays off: NanoFocus is the leader in optical 3D surface measuring technology, a method with which surfaces can be investigated within seconds regarding characteristics such as roughness, topography, and micro-geometry. With that, the company assumes an important quality assurance position at numerous producing industries. The products are e.g. used in mechanical engineering, medical technology, as well as in the automotive and semiconductor sector. Art benefits from NanoFocus as well: The microstructure of a brushstroke can be captured using contactless surface measuring technology. Restoration methods can e.g. be improved and forgeries exposed.

The success at "Top 100" is something very special for Jürgen Valentin, CTO at NanoFocus: "For us, the 'Top 100' seal is not only a reward for our joint efforts within the company, but also an incentive. Because being innovative also means not to rest on one's laurels. Innovations and technological competitiveness are no one-time events, but continuous processes permanently rooted in the culture of our company."

Internal strategy meetings, product-planning groups, and a scientific advisory board drive innovative developments. Objectives are ambitious on purpose - to meet the requirements of the market. "We monitor the world market very carefully and check the influence of global business activities on our main product and sales activities on a continuous basis", says Jürgen Valentin. Strategic partnerships with companies producing worldwide and collaborations with research institutions create new ideas as well. Products are extensively tested by industry partners prior to their market introduction. NanoFocus receives feedback early on and risks can be significantly reduced. 

The jump into the "Top 100" follows a challenging selection process. Innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Vienna University for Economics and Business Administration checked the applications of 247 companies. One hundred forty eight of them receive the Top Innovator award in three size categories (maximum 100 companies per size category). The focus is on innovation management and innovation success.
The winners of the "Top 100" award have been exceptionally successful in converting their ideas into market success. Many companies cannot overcome this hurdle. The Top Innovators master this challenge with distinctive team spirit, efficient processes, and often early involvement of customers and external partners in the development", states Prof. Franke.
A glance at the numbers highlights the quality of this year's "Top 100": 65 national market leaders and even 21 world market leaders can be counted. Together, the Top Innovators submitted almost 2,100 national and international patents within the last three years. For these companies, their innovative power results in remarkable success: From 2011 to 2013, the growth of 82 percent of them was above their respective industry average – and this in average by substantial 22 percentage points. 41.6 percent of their turnover was the result of new market introductions and innovative improvements. For comparison: The average value of all small and medium-sized companies in Germany is merely 8.6 percent. Sixty two percent of the "Top 100" are family-owned businesses.

The mentor
Journalist and TV moderator Ranga Yogeshwar is the mentor of "Top 100".

Scientific leadership and cooperation partner
Since 2002, the scientific lead has been with Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Vienna University for Economics and Business Administration. Prof. Dr. Franke's research focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation management, and marketing. The scientist is one of the leading experts in user innovation worldwide. The Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research is also involved in the "Top 100" project. Further information can be found under

compamedia, mentor of the best small and medium-sized companies
compamedia GmbH founded in 1993, with 19 employees, organizes the nationwide corporate benchmarks "Top 100", "Top Job", and "Top Consultant", and started the value alliance "Ethics in Business". They support and distinguish small and medium-sized companies that delivery outstanding performances in the areas of innovation, personnel management, consulting, and corporate social responsibility. compamedia collaborates with distinguished universities in all projects.

About NanoFocus AG:
As specialist for industrial 3D measuring technology, Oberhausen-based NanoFocus AG has more than 20 years of experience in measuring and analyzing technical function surfaces at micro and nano dimensions. The company develops, produces, and sells optical surface analysis systems for applications ranging from the laboratory to inline production control. Well-known users from almost all industries – from the automotive, electronics and semiconductor sectors to medical technology as well as micro and nanotechnology, research institutes and universities – place their trust in the company's economical and flexible solutions. The 3D measuring systems installed worldwide allow users to achieve shorter development times, safe quality control checks, and reliable process control systems.

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