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The Group's principal activities are to manufacture hardware components from plastic for the mobile telephone industry, medical engineering and satellite technology. The Group operates through three business segments namely: Hardware Plastic, Engineering and Touch Screens. The Group produces and distributes its products for all three product segments (luxury, business and basic) in accordance with all mobile telephone standards, digital as well as analog and manufactures touch screens. Customers of the Group include mobile telephone producers such as Bosch, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens. During the year 2006, the Group acquired Touch Screens business & remaining shares in Balda-Thong Fook Solutions and disposed Balda Surface GmbH, Albea Kunststofftechnik GmbH and Albea Grundstueksverwaltungs GmbH


Firm from Bad Oeynhausen joins Germany's elite group of innovative companies/Award to be presented by Top 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar

Bad Oeynhausen – The 23rd Top 100 awards for Germany's most innovative SMEs are about to be presented, and this year the Balda Group is joining this elite group. The firm based in Bad Oeynhausen took part in a rigorous, scientific selection process that analysed innovation management and successful innovation. Ranga Yogeshwar, the competition mentor, will present the top innovators with their awards at the German SME Summit in Essen on 24 June.

The Balda Group from Bad Oeynhausen scored particularly highly in the Top 100 competition's Innovations Marketing category. This manufacturer of high-precision plastics for the medical equipment market aims to be at the cutting edge of its sector, setting the standard for others to follow. For this reason, Christoph Klaus, managing director of Balda USA, focuses on continuously monitoring the market and encourages his staff to look beyond the immediately obvious: "The start-up scene for medical equipment, in particular, is often a major source of inspiration for us." Dr Oliver Pfannschmidt, managing director of Balda Medical GmbH & Co. KG, one of the other companies in the Balda Group, adds: "Good contacts and networks are essential for success." As an example of this, Balda has teamed up with Darmstädter Mechatronik AG to develop an app-controlled drug dispenser. The smartphone app reads the dosage schedule that is saved on the web-enabled pill dispenser and reminds the patient to administer the drug. As soon as the time slot has passed, the dispensing function is locked.

The climate at the company, which was established in 1908, is also conducive to innovation, with each of its over 200 employees attending an average of ten training days a year. The protection of radical innovations is a high priority at Balda. "We're not in the business of simply 'killing' ideas," explains Christoph Klaus. "All decision-makers are open to unusual approaches." A dedicated budget is available for putting these ideas into practice.

This year, more than 4,000 companies registered an interest in taking part in the Top 100 competition, with 366 of them applying for the qualification round and 284 getting through to the finals. Ultimately, 238 made it into the Top 100 (maximum of one hundred in each of the three size categories). Once more, the companies were evaluated by Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and his team. They examined more than 100 parameters in the following five assessment categories: 'Innovation-friendly Senior Management', 'Climate of Innovation', 'Innovative Processes and Organisation', 'Innovations Marketing' and 'Successful Innovations'.

The Top 100 are among the pacesetters in their sectors. Statistics reveal that the evaluation process included 97 German market leaders and 32 global market leaders. On average, they generated 40 per cent of their recent revenue from innovations and product improvements, which they brought to the market before their competitors. Their revenue growth rate was 28 percentage points higher than the average for their industries. In the last three years, these SMEs have together applied for a total of 2,292 German and international patents. This ability to innovate also pays dividends in terms of jobs, with the Top 100 planning to take on around 9,500 new employees in the next three years.

The Top 100's mentor, science journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, is impressed by the quality of the companies and hopes they will become role models. "The way in which the Top 100 companies generate new ideas and develop groundbreaking products and services based on them is remarkable in the truest sense of the word. I am delighted that the award highlights these qualities. I hope their success will encourage others to follow in their footsteps, because this culture of innovation is going to become increasingly important for all companies."

The Top 100 competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the Top 100 seal of approval to SMEs with a particular ability to innovate 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. The Top 100 is mentored by science journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar and organised in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW). Media support for the company benchmarking competition is provided by manager magazin. Further information is available at


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