This company orientation was therefore one of the decisive criteria for the final selection of the 50 Innovations-Champions. The basis for assessment of the companies is the 'innovation score': two-thirds of this score is calculated from the innovative power of the companies, and one-third from their performance.
In the Hamburg-based Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, twelve independent specialist firms develop, produce and distribute ingredients and additives that simplify and enhance the production of foods and animal feed. They include internationally renowned companies such as Hydrosol, Mühlenchemie, SternMaid, SternVitamin, Sternchemie, SternEnzym, HERZA Schokolade and Berg + Schmidt. Each individual firm has specific competence of its own – in baked goods, dairy products, deli foods, meat, fish, chocolate, flavourings, lecithin, enzymes or vitamins. In many branches of the food industry, the outstanding competence of these specialist units has made them leading worldwide suppliers in their fields.
The heart of the group is the Stern-Technology Center in Ahrensburg, near Hamburg, where research and applications technology are centralised under one roof. It is there that over 100 employees of the German companies are engaged in applications research and development and use their knowledge and interdisciplinary cooperation to create new, customised solutions. The facility in Ahrensburg is complemented by applications laboratories and technology centres in the foreign affiliates and partner firms. 'With this model we have set ourselves apart from the major raw material suppliers in the global ingredients markets and now play a pioneering role in respect of appropriate applications and customer care on the spot. That shows itself in the fact that Munich Strategy's close innovation ranking is made up largely of IT and technology companies, and we are one of the few representatives of the food industry', said Torsten Wywiol, emphasising the significance of the good placing for his enterprise.
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