SCHNEIDER company receives award for its innovative power

Newly crowned innovation champion: SCHNEIDER GmbH & Co. KG from Germany has received the renowned TOP 100 seal 2024. This German award is only given to particularly innovative medium-sized companies. The famous science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar will personally congratulate SCHNEIDER on this success at the award ceremony on June 28th in Weimar, Germany.

Innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and his team examined the innovative strength of all participants on behalf of Compamedia, the organiser of the competition. They evaluated more than 100 criteria from five categories: Innovation-promoting top management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organization, external orientation/open innovation and innovation success.

“Are companies able to create new products, new services, new processes and new business models? Are these achievements just coincidences or the result of a structured and targeted approach? These are the questions we examine at TOP 100,” says Nikolaus Franke, explaining his approach to the review. According to him, it is also important to see whether innovations and product improvements have been able to establish themselves on the market and how they perform.

The jury is made up of well-known people in Germany, including Jens Tönnes-mann from the renowned magazine “DIE ZEIT”; Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer from the research organization Fraunhofer; Politician Dr. Gregor Gysi, as well as Chris-toph Ahlhaus from The German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW).

SCHNEIDER successfully passed the scientific selection process and is now among the top German innovators for the second time (2014, 2024). The family-run mechanical engineering company is at home in the optics industry – ophthalmics, ultra-precision and precision optics. The company offers its customers intelligent system solutions for fully automated production: “Innovation is our constant motivation. As a developer and manufacturer of modern and novel high-tech system solutions for ophthalmic and ultra-precision optics, our company is known for its innovativeness. Innovation is really our corporate purpose,” says Gunter Schneider, Managing Director and owner of the company.

Within the sector, SCHNEIDER is perceived as the pioneer of free-form technology, an innovative technology for optimizing the production of progressive lenses. Over 25 years ago, this disruptive innovation revolutionized the ophthalmic optics industry – today, almost everyone who wears progressive lenses benefits from it. Schneider’s passion for innovation that really benefits people has shaped the company ever since: “Innovations can arise anywhere. To further promote this, we maintain flat hierarchies and a close working atmosphere within the company. The ideas of each individual are heard and valued.”

Schneider’s particularly innovative character lies in knowing his customers’ business models down to the last detail and anticipating market developments. He always thinks with a perspective of at least five years and relies on high-risk development processes. “We work extremely explorative in the market. At the same time, we have been able to demonstrate that our expectations are often very accurate. I am fascinated by the best approaches of tomorrow and the opportunity to help shape the future.” He fosters innovation and solutions that go far beyond state-of-the-art technology. “Our vision was and still is to create a fully automated and intelligent ‘Power Lab of the Next Decade’ that increases efficiency and conserves resources,” says Schneider.

Far beyond their core competencies, SCHNEIDER is constantly expanding its business fields, by opening new areas of application and markets and developing solutions for the market with new materials and technologies. In addition to the ophthalmic industry, the company is particularly successful in the production of contact and intraocular lenses as well as in (ultra) precision optics.

Applications range from head-up displays, augmented reality glasses and special lighting systems to space telescopes and mirrors for measuring global warming via space satellites. With this broad spectrum of innovations, SCHNEIDER was once again able to convince the Top 100 jury.

All of the top innovators of the year 2024 will gather at the SME summit in the “Congress Centrum Weimarhalle” on June 28th for the award ceremony. Ranga Yogeshwar will personally congratulate them on their TOP 100 success.

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