Since 2000, Endress+Hauser has invited all employees involved in patent filings to the annual innovators’ meeting. However, due to COVID, there have been no in-person events during the past two years. As a result, the company celebrated the event’s 20th anniversary at this year’s meeting. 360 innovators were invited to attend the two-day session in Rust, Germany.
“Innovation continues to be a driver of our success and our innovation rate is high. The numbers nevertheless show us that the innovation process is suffering from a lack of personal interaction,” said Dr. Andreas Mayr, chief operating officer at the Endress+Hauser Group. There were 258 initial filings, down from 276 last year. “Many ideas arise through coincidental encounters and the sharing of information. Together we are simply more creative and innovative.”
There was a new record of 764 worldwide patent approvals. Since many innovations in multiple countries are filed as patents, this figure is regularly above the number of internal patent submissions. The intellectual property rights portfolio--which protects the Endress+Hauser products, solutions, and services from imitators--now comprises a total of 8,600 patents and patent filings.
Endress+Hauser places a high value on research and development. In 2021, the group invested more than 210 million euros in R&D, which equates to 7.4% of sales. “This ensures that our pipeline continues to be filled with new products. We will introduce more than 30 new products to the market this year as well,” said Mayr.
“This year’s innovators’ meeting is designed to offer a platform to take advantage of the potential of personal encounters,” said Dr. Christine Koslowski, director of intellectual property rights at Endress+Hauser. “We expanded the program to two days and brought our innovators together from various Endress+Hauser companies to work on new ideas. Three of these concepts were awarded a financial and time budget to develop them further.”
The meeting honors employees for economically significant and especially creative innovations. Awards are also handed out for process improvements or the reuse of existing solutions. More than 100 employees were recognized.