Newly crowned innovation champion: Sihl GmbH has been awarded the TOP 100 seal 2024. Only particularly innovative medium-sized companies are honoured with this award. Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, who has accompanied the innovation competition as a mentor for 12 years, will personally congratulate Sihl on this success at the award ceremony on 28 June in Weimar.

Sihl prevailed against 387 other SMEs in a scientific selection process, making it one of the top innovators in Germany. “We live innovation every day and being one of the TOP 100 is a great honour for us. We are proud that our work is bearing fruit and being recognised,“ explains Peter K. Wahsner, CEO of the Sihl Group, about the good result.

“Innovation is an important part of our corporate strategy. We develop innovative processes, technologies and products for a sustainable future. This is how we ensure our long-term success with our customers,“ adds Steffen Ohr, Vice President Innovation at the Sihl Group. He and his team take a holistic approach to innovation: scouting, research & development, business development & initial commercialisation – these are the three steps to success. And they are not limited to Sihl products, but also include technologies and business models.

New opportunities in the area of personalisation

In recent years, new opportunities have been opened up in the area of personalisation. One example of a Sihl technology innovation is Perigon. The Sihl Group subsidiary is the first provider in the world to offer a process that allows complex 3D objects to be printed industrially over their entire surface.

With the innovative business model of its adelmo brand, Sihl has rethought the path from packaging idea to sales success. Using an online 3D configurator, customers can fast and simply create and order their desired design for customised printed stand-up pouches on the B2B platform. Thanks to the cooperation with local adelmo partners, the pouches are produced and delivered within just 5 days.

Innovation „Recyclable Photo Paper“

“We are also breaking new ground in our existing business. We are developing products that fulfil the growing customer demand for sustainability,“ explains Stefan Benito, Managing Director of Sihl GmbH. With GreenGrafX Photo Paper, Sihl is offering the first fully recyclable photo paper. Unlike conventional photo papers, it is not coated with polyethylene (PE) but has a special barrier. This replaces the PE film but retains its important properties for photo printing. As it contains less plastic, GreenGrafX Photo Paper can be disposed of in the normal paper bin and 100% recycled in the waste paper cycle.

The TOP 100 competition

Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal for special innovative strength and aboveaverage innovation success to medium-sized companies. On their behalf, the renowned innovation researcher Prof Dr Nikolaus Franke from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and his team examine the innovative strength of all participants on the basis of more than 100 criteria from five categories:

  • innovation-promoting top management
  • innovation climate
  • innovative processes and organisation
  • external orientation/open innovation
  • innovation success

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

To ensure equal opportunities, the TOP 100 seal is awarded in three size categories: up to 50, 51 to 200 and more than 200 employees. As the requirements of the selection process are very high, out of more than 3,000 interested parties, only companies that think they have a chance of winning the award usually apply. In the 31st edition of the innovation competition, 388 SMEs applied for the award. 287 were successful and now bear the TOP 100 seal 2024. A maximum of 100 companies per size category can be honoured.

On 28 June, all the top innovators of the year will gather at the “congress centrum weimarhalle“ for the award ceremony as part of the German SME Summit. Ranga Yogeshwar will be there to personally congratulate them on their TOP 100 success.

Further information on the price and Sihl‘s innovations can be found on our website or our blog.

Download press release
Download article image: Online version | Print version (high res)