Munich Strategy examined more than 4,000 German small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) with annual sales of between 10 million and 1 billion euros. The 100 "Innovation Champions 2021" were identified from 400 finalists that stand out as industry leaders and through current innovations.
The basis for the final selection is an 'innovation score', which is calculated as two-thirds innovative strength and one-third company performance. To determine innovative strength, the study examined the extent to which companies are characterized by continuous innovations (innovation vitality), whether they are classified as innovative by the market and competitors (innovation perception) and whether they invest sustainably in innovations (R&D & Tech Power). Performance is calculated from sales growth, earnings ratio and EBIT growth over the last four years.
"The most innovative companies create real added value for their customers that goes far beyond the mere product," explains Barbara Siegert, innovation expert and author of the study, which was conducted for WirtschaftsWoche for the eighth time. "Internal processes or production methods are being improved, traditional business models are increasingly being replaced by customer-centric digital products and services."
The results of the ranking were published in the WirtschaftsWoche magazine (issue 29/2021) on July 16, 2021.