INNOVATION PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE

Manager of the newly founded new.degree GmbH, Birgit Dillmann (center), with members of her team.

LAUDA DR.LAUDA R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG, the world market leader for constant temperature equipment and systems, is encouraging innovation within the LAUDA Group. new.degree GmbH, a new, wholly owned LAUDA subsidiary, was founded at the beginning of the year to deal with temperature control-related innovation activities outside the present core business. The new company is managed by Birgit Dillmann and comprises seven employees in Germany and abroad.

 

new.degree GmbH brings together LAUDA start-up management, the LAUDA innovation laboratory including the branch office in Morgan Hill, USA, as well as the LAUDA Digital Unit, which is responsible for digitalization projects within LAUDA. The LAUDA internal ideas management scheme, which picks up ideas from employees about new products or business areas and possible process improvements, is also supported in the new company. The objective of the merger is to further professionalize and strategically develop the activities which have been developed so far. new.degree GmbH is based at its current location in Lauda-Königshofen. In the medium term, however, it is planned to move to the “Brainstation” innovation center planned by Dr. Gunther Wobser, the Managing Director of LAUDA, at Lauda railway station, the town that gives the company its name, in order to provide the creative space that is crucial to its success.

 

The core task of the new company is to identify innovation potentials relevant to temperature control outside LAUDA’s current normal business activities, develop them into innovative solutions and test them in the market at an early stage. Potential approaches to this will be systematically generated by the analysis of trends and suitable search fields, uncovering opportunities for future-critical technologies, targeted collaboration with startups or also thanks to ideas provided via the internal idea management instrument. The innovation laboratory quickly and validly evaluates such ideas for their sales opportunities and innovation potential. Promising ideas are developed into so-called Minimum Viable Products using agile development methods such as Lean Startup and Design Thinking with the active involvement of potential users. They are then proposed for further development to market maturity in the event of a successful test.

 

Support and supervision of young companies

new.degree GmbH supports start-ups in their business development with relevant technology innovations and gives their business ideas the necessary initial momentum through joint pilot projects. In addition, the innovation experts of the LAUDA management recommend strategic investments in promising start-ups on the basis of a comprehensive system. LAUDA has so far successfully invested in three start-ups - watttron, ENER-IQ and Better Basics Laborbedarf.

 

By integrating the Digital Unit, which was previously part of the IT division, in new.degree GmbH, the new unit is also responsible for driving LAUDA’s digital transformation. The development of customer-centric digital products and services, such as device diagnostics and data-based business models, implemented jointly with the parent company is of particular note here. At new.degree, experts from various disciplines such as marketing strategists, innovation managers, digitization experts, engineers and material scientists therefore work hand in hand at two locations. In addition, they are supported by the knowledge network of the entire LAUDA Group. LAUDA is also part of the Maschinenraum, an innovation ecosystem based in Berlin that brings together German SMEs and family-owned companies to collaboratively drive forward topics of future relevance.

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