Ten candidates reached the 2017 final of Hessen’s most prestigious corporate competition, three of whom received awards in the categories of World Market Leader, Job Creation and Innovation. “Hessen is a region of corporate champions and the number 1 founding region in Germany,” said the Hessian Minister of Economics, Tarek Al-Wazir. “The aim of the Hessen Champions event is to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with a platform to present their economic success story.” The jury had selected the finalists from a pool of 65 candidates. “The achievements of innovative enterprises shape the development of our region and make Hessen a top destination for living and working”, said Al-Wazir.
The president of the VhU, Wolf Matthias Mang, commented: “Our exemplary companies of 2017 are agile entrepreneurs. Agile entrepreneurs are constantly working on their willingness to embrace change. They combine the tried-and-tested, efficiency-focussed, hierarchical model for success with a second model that accelerates innovation. They use this double-track system to extract expertise from below. Because being below often means being on the front line: you are closer to the customer, closer to the problems and as a result closer to the solutions. That is how innovators come to be firstly job creators and then world market leaders.”
Jürgen Zabel, Managing Director of the Hesse Medium-Sized Investment Company (MBG H), believes that “medium-sized enterprises are the driving force of the German economy. It is their developments and innovations in particular that shape the integral competitiveness of our region. The Hessen Champions competition goes to show once again how hessian companies, through their outstanding innovative power and international competitiveness, secure employment and generate more and more jobs in Hessen.”
Aerospace company leads the market
The prize in the World Market Leader category goes to Frankfurt-based Nord-Micro GmbH und Co. OHG. Nord-Micro is an independent aerospace company from the UTC Aerospace Systems Group. 481 employees develop, produce and maintain so-called cabin pressure systems in the Bergen-Enkheim location. This control system allows passengers to breathe safely in the aircraft cabin. “Nord-Micro has developed into a world market leader within 20 years. Nord-Micro products make a substantial contribution to aviation safety and aviation comfort”, said Tarek Al-Wazir, Minister of Economics, as he handed over the award.
Family business on the road to success
The winners in the Job Creation category is Lampenwelt GmbH from the East-Hessen town of Schlitz. Since its foundation in 2004, the company has developed into Europe’s most successful speciality online marketplace for lamps and lighting systems. The founding brothers, Thomas and Andreas Rebmann, now head up an internationally-active company. “I’m particularly pleased that we were able to present the award to a family business in the Job Creation category,” declared VhU president Mang. “300 employees and 75 newly generated jobs make Lampenwelt an attractive employer in an economically underdeveloped region.”
Innovative solutions and continuous development
The award in the Innovation category goes to the Wettenberg-based OptoTech Optikmaschinen GmbH. The company provides its customers with the most comprehensive product range of machines and equipment in the precision and spectacle optics sector worldwide. “OptoTech has unique skills in the optical machinery industry and demonstrates these skills with modern techniques”, Jürgen Zabel (MBG H) said.
To dwindle the 65 impressive candidates down to three winners was a tough task according to a unanimous jury. “Everyone who took part and the ten finalists are winners. When it comes down to it, they were able to hold their ground in a pool of outstanding candidates”, stated Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, Managing Director of the Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH on behalf of the jury.