Spitzner Engineers GmbH is a German engineering office that operates in the field of aeronautical and wind energy engineering. The team of experienced aeronautical and aerospace engineers, led by the inspirational entrepreneur Jörg Spitzner, is active in research and development for composite structures and aerodynamics. Their focus lies on the design and dimensioning of light-weight structures consisting of composites, especially carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). In government-funded partner projects with the wind power industry sector, Spitzner is developing rotor blades for modern wind power plants. Inventions and patent applications determine the team's daily work. Thus, Spitzner Engineers aimed to benchmark their innovation management capacity and look for opportunities to improve their performance and efficiency even more. In December 2015 Spitzner Engineers started the process of evaluating its innovation capacity with support of the Enterprise Europe Network, the world's largest support network for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with international ambitions. Together with the innovation consultant Margarete Remmert-Rieper from TUTECH, a German Member of EEN, the Innovation Management Check began with the IMP3rove assessment and benchmarking. Based on the benchmarking results Spitzner Engineers and the EEN innovation consultant derived an action plan for the upcoming 12 months. Though already strong in the management of ideas and patents, Spitzner Engineers decided to further improve this strength which builds the basis for its competitiveness. Until March 2017 Spitzner Engineers worked continuously on this action plan and used regular meetings with Dr. Remmert-Rieper to discuss open questions and get feedback. Getting deeper insight into design management beyond just designing a final product was a second topic for Spitzner Engineers. Resulting from EEN consultancy the company will soon be testing a design-driven innovation management approach with one of its network partners. Spitzner Engineers highly appreciated the EIMC service and The IMP3rove assessment. In the course of the EIMC service Spitzner Engineers could establish a simple, effective and improved process from idea generation to innovation. The process is strongly connected to the company's QM system thus avoiding unnecessary additional effort. Jörg Spitzner, CEO: "We learned a lot during the process. The assessment and the report were revealing and the talks with the EEN consultant were helpful. We implemented many of the ideas and our senses have been sharpened how we can exploit our innovations better." The Enterprise Europe Network helps ambitious SMEs innovate and grow internationally. The newly established EIMC services offers SMEs assessing, benchmarking and the opportunity of improving its innovation capacity.
Success story, innovation management, Enterprise Europe Network, EEN-HHSH, idea management, enhanced innovation management services, aerospace, aviation, wind energy, renewable energy, composite structures