Inno­va­tion still the name of the game

The great chal­lenges of world market leaders

At the 2nd German Congress of World Market Leaders, repre­sen­ta­tives of top German compa­nies discussed the major chal­lenges facing German industry.

From 24 to 26 January 2012, more than 300 high-ranking repre­sen­ta­tives of German compa­nies met in Schwäbisch Hall for the 2nd German Congress of World Market Leaders. Under the motto “Preserving resources – Devel­oping growth poten­tial”, they discussed what Germany’s world market leaders will have to do to secure their compet­i­tive­ness for the future. For the second time, ebm-papst was present at the event with presen­ta­tions and its own stand. In addi­tion, the company invited all congress partic­i­pants to a tour of its modern factory in Hollen­bach.

The content of the presen­ta­tions and open discus­sions were orien­tated around the major chal­lenges such as dwin­dling stocks of raw mate­rials and the demo­graphic change in Germany. Below we have summarised the most impor­tant trends and results for you.

Dwin­dling raw mate­rials

When it comes to raw mate­rials, inde­pen­dence is the big buzz­word, as Dr. Bruno Lindl, Managing Director Research and Devel­op­ment of the ebm-papst Group stressed in his presen­ta­tion. To counter the world­wide effect of ever-dwin­dling stocks of raw mate­rials, it is vitally impor­tant to exploit sources “outside your own front door”. That is why the trend is moving towards bioma­te­rials, which is eminently sensible from an envi­ron­mental perspec­tive. ebm-papst’s declared goal is to increase the propor­tion of sustain­able mate­rials. A first step here is the “bio-fan” made out of epylen, a wood/plastic composite..

Demo­graphic change

German inno­va­tion leaders are increas­ingly lacking up-and-coming staff. That is some­thing which is notice­able in partic­ular among compa­nies with rural loca­tions. To prevent them from being left behind, it is impor­tant for world market leaders to offer attrac­tive training pack­ages. ebm-papst thus offers a wide range of training and study courses for grad­u­ates – with the declared inten­tion of taking them on perma­nently when they have completed the course. These trainees are not just trained in their own specialised field. They are also encour­aged to work inde­pen­dently on more intri­cate projects. For example, there are “energy scouts” looking for savings poten­tial in produc­tion. Other trainees visit schools to prepare the next gener­a­tion for their working life with appli­ca­tion training. Trainees also take personal respon­si­bility for their own website , where inter­ested persons can learn about ebm-papst’s training activ­i­ties.

Gallery: the 2nd German Congress of World Market Leaders


Many glob­ally active compa­nies are currently in the process of adjusting the strategic and organ­i­sa­tional orien­ta­tion of their non-domestic subsidiaries. Much is happening in partic­ular in the growth region China. Instead of being just an “extended work­bench”, the country is increas­ingly devel­oping as a sales market in its own right. Instead of cheap prod­ucts, high­tech inno­va­tions are growing enor­mously in terms of impor­tance. There are now more patent appli­ca­tions in China that there are in the former boom region of Japan, as Bosch exec­u­tive Franz Fehren­bach noted at the congress. That means it is impor­tant to actively place value creation in the Asiatic markets, for example by investing locally in training and devel­op­ment there.


Inno­va­tions are and always will be the most impor­tant commodity of the world market leaders. In his presen­ta­tion, Festo CEO Eber­hard Veit high­lighted the urgency of a struc­tured inno­va­tion manage­ment system. Even in times of crisis, it remains impor­tant to stick to the trends of energy effi­ciency and process automa­tion with new devel­op­ments. With its Green­Tech initia­tive, ebm-papst is a pioneer in this field, some­thing which is high­lighted by the large number of awards it has received.

More infor­ma­tion and detailed reports on the 2nd German Congress of World Market Leaders.

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