The TOP 100 contest will select the most innovative companies among Germany`s small and medium sized enterprises for the 25th time. This year Ernst Blissenbach GmbH is one of those innovation leaders. That is the result of an analysis undertaken by the Research Director of TOP 100, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke. TOP 100`s men tor Ranga Yogeshwar will present the award to the company from Remscheid together with Franke and compamedia on June 29th, 2018 at the 5th German SME Summit in Ludwigsburg. For Ernst Blissenbach GmbH it is already the third time that they have made it into this elite group of innovators. In the independent selection process the company with 15 employees impressed the jury especially with its successful innovation and its excellent innovation climate.

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When people talk about world market leaders, most think of a big company first. But that small companies can also achieve big things is a fact that the Ernst Blissenbach GmbH has demonstrated quite impressively. With “only” 15 employees the medium-sized enterprise from Remscheid, which was founded in 1974, is able to offer the most innovative system for inside tube scarfing of longitudinally welded pipes – an inside tube scarfing system with a zero reject rate.

The three-time honoree and TOP 100 company has attracted attention in other areas as well. Blissenbach technologies were also involved in the further development of automobile impact protection systems. The company seems to be very well prepared for the future: Precision steel pipes produced with Blissenbach know-how are equally in demand in the automobile and electromobility industry, as well as for use as heat-exchange pipes in solar power stations.

General Manager Ernst Blissenbach is quite certain that “a high-tech company has no future unless it has highly specialized employees”. He also adds that „people with their capabilities and their knowledge are the crucial lynchpin, but employees also have to want to and be allowed to play their part”. That is the reason why this top innovator favors minimal hierarchical structures and a policy of short paths of communication. Additionally this small company has its very own innovation lab, in which employees can work on new project ideas in changing constellations.

TOP 100: the Contest

Since 1993 compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 designation to small and medium-sized companies for their extraordinary innovativeness and outstanding innovative success. Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke has been the scientific lead since 2002. Franke is founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar is the mentor of TOP 100. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW). The Media partners of the company contest are manager magazin, impulse and W&V. For more information please visit

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015 10:13

Outstandingly innovative: Ernst Blissenbach

Ernst Blissenbach is one of Germany’s most innovative SMEs/Presentation of award by Ranga Yogeshwar

Success built upon entrepreneurial vision: Ernst Blissenbach GmbH is honoured as one of Germany’s most innovative SMEs at the German SME Summit in Essen on 26 June. The Remscheid-based company joins an exclusive group of prizewinners stretching back over more than 20 years as Top 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar awards it the Top 100 seal of approval. The award to Ernst Blissenbach is the outcome of a two-stage analytical procedure by a team of research scientists.

Ernst Blissenbach GmbH’s innovations are setting standards worldwide. The Remscheid-based company develops systems which enable pipes to be produced with particularly smooth internal surfaces, whilst offering maximum reliability for demanding pipe production processes. The company’s innovative lead over the rest of the field is huge – an impressive 15 years ahead of both national and international competitors.

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Ernst Blissenbach scored particularly well in the Top 100 competition’s Innovations Marketing category. Its engineers work together with customers to develop tangible solutions, and exchange ideas and information on best practice in joint workshops. This enables the company to check at an early stage whether its innovation projects are feasible and to react swiftly to the needs of the market. Plenty of inspiration for new products also comes from within the company. Managing director Ernst Blissenbach encourages his 15 employees always to think outside the box and places particular emphasis on a no-blame culture. As a result, there is a constant stream of innovative products.

“Generating good ideas and implementing them quickly is an important competitive factor for us,” commented Blissenbach. “This is why we invest a lot of time and money into managing innovation. In doing so, we are relying on the creativity and inventiveness of all of our employees. I should like to extend my heartfelt thanks to them for helping us win this Top 100 award.”

The Top 100 accolade is awarded on the basis of a two-stage analysis developed by Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and his team. The research scientists use more than 100 parameters in five separate categories to investigate how SMEs manage and generate successful innovations. The decision as to which companies ultimately receive the Top 100 award lies exclusively with the academic coordinators of the project.

This year, Professor Franke and his team reviewed more applicants than ever before, with 234 out of a total of 302 qualifying companies making it into the final. After the finalists had been split into three size categories (maximum of 100 companies in each size category), 178 were awarded the accolade. The German SME summit in Essen provided the setting for the awards ceremony.

The Top 100 are outstanding in every respect: this year’s crop includes 71 domestic market leaders and as many as 31 global market leaders. In the last three years, the top innovators have together applied for a total of 3,405 German and international patents. Nearly 41 per cent of their recent revenues came from new products and innovations, which they brought to the market before their competitors (average of all SMEs in Germany: 6.6 per cent). This success is no accident: the top innovators invest an average of 10.5 per cent of revenues in research and development (average of all SMEs in Germany: 1.5 per cent). Two thirds of the Top 100 are family businesses.

The Top 100 competition

Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the Top 100 seal of approval to SMEs with particular innovative capacity and above-average success rates for innovations. This project has been coordinated by Professor Nikolaus Franke from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration since 2002. Professor Franke is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of user innovation. The Top 100 is mentored by journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, and organised in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research. manager magazin provides media support for the company benchmarking competition. Further information is available at

compamedia – mentor to Germany’s top SMEs

compamedia GmbH, which was founded in 1993 and employs 15 people, organises the nationwide company benchmarking competitions Top 100 (since 1993) and Top Consultant (since 2010). The company collaborates with prestigious universities on these projects.

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