The World Technology Leader Award, the international award for innovation, technology and market leadership, was hosted in November in Jinan / China. The nomination committee also decided this year for a typical representative out of the “German Mittelstand”: Grünewald Feinmaschinenbau from Grävenwiesbach in Hessen, Germany.

The award ceremony took place while the SMEC conference, where 1000 international guests gathered for an innovation exchange. “With the international award we want to honor companies that create through their technologies added value worldwide”, said DDW-editor Michael Oelmann, the initiator of the award. Based on the judgement of an international staffed nomination committee, out of applications and submissions twelve cross-industry and transnational top achievements were honored.

Superior performances of different areas and company sizes were standing in the spotlight: from the visionary space company SpaceX by Elon Musk to communication supplier Ericsson, from Volvo to Dyson, the Indian IT consultant Infosys as well as Sony, the Smart Grid Provider Integrated Electronic Systems Lab, the JiNan MingHu refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment Co. and Inspur, one the leading providers of artificial intelligence in China.

Grünewald:  Precision in detail that complex technology solutions require

The nomination committee also decided this year for a typical representative out of the “German Mittelstand”: Grünewald Feinmaschinenbau from Grävenwiesbach in Hessen, Germany. The company with 240 employees manufactures cardan shafts, transmission and steering components. The components are used in automobiles, rail vehicles and ships, in industrial applications and even in car racing. Grünewald is thereby one of those supply companies that have a small, but indispensable share on the world renown of the products of automobile manufacturers like Daimler. “With its shafts and homokinetic joints as well as entire assemblies, Grünewald stands for that precision in detail that complex technology solutions require”, it was said in the laudation.

Solutions for the most urgent problems of our time

Professor Andreas Altmann, Rector of the renowned MCI-University in Innsbruck, pointed out in his keynote that companies in disruptive times must be prepared for to radically rethink business models. The winners are prime examples of the fact that technological innovation is the driver of a global progress, according to Michael Oelmann. They not only bring the customer benefit, but as well are the basis for solving the most urgent problems of our time.

Highly staffed event

The award took place as part of the annual held SMEC conference of the Jinan Innovation Zone with 1000 attendees in the Shandong region of China. The conference stands for international exchange and cross-company knowledge transfer. Also, from Chinese side the event was highly staffed. The highest representative of Shandong Province, Governor Liu Jiayi, took the opportunity at a reception to present the importance of the region as a link between Beijing and Shanghai as well as one of China’s innovation regions.

Also present were Wang Zhonglin, Party Secretary of Jinan City and permanent member of Shandong Provincial Committee, as well as Ling Wen, Vice Governor of Shandong, the two former ambassadors in Germany, Lu Qiutan and Shi Mingde. Furthermore, Zang Bin, vice president of SAP China and Wang Xinzhe, chief economist of the Ministry of Industry and Information.

With tension the presentation of the World Technology Leader Award was awaited, through which DDW-host Emily Whigham was leading. Yingchun Wang, Vice Director of the Administrative Committee of the Jinan Innovation Zone, highlighted in her welcoming speech the importance of a transnational exchange of know-how and the cooperation of companies on an international level.