Germany: Nordic Yards Recognized as One of Most Innovative Companies
On 5th July, Nordic Yards has been awarded one of Germany’s most innovative companies. At a ceremony for the Top 100 companies at the Axel Springer Passage centre in Berlin, journalist and TV host Ranga Yogeshwar presented Nordic Yards’ managing director Vitaly Yusufov with the Top 100 prize for innovation.
Nordic Yards is one of the companies whose innovative ideas are driving forward the shift to renewable energy. The shipyard group is world market leader for DC converter platforms – huge floating substations that convert alternating current produced by offshore wind farms into direct current for a lossless transmission to the mainland. Of the eight converter platforms currently under construction worldwide, four are being built in Wismar and Rostock-Warnemünde. Nordic Yards is a global market leader in the manufacture of these ninety metre high platforms, which weigh as much as 25 Airbus A380 aircrafts.
With about 1,150 employees, Nordic Yards designs and builds other specialised vessels, such as an installation ship for offshore wind turbines. This project, the so-called “Heavy Installer”, uses its onboard crane to install the turbines in waters up to 55 metres deep. It can simultaneously transport up to four pre-assembled wind turbines or foundations from the harbour to their offshore positions.
“We concentrate on high-tech and bespoke work rather than mass production,” says owner and managing director Dr. Vitaly Yusufov, who took over the almost 70 year old company in 2009. As a result, around 80 per cent of the company’s revenue and profit came from new products and technical improvements which they had brought to market during the past four years, always one step ahead of their competitors.
Both with regard to the German energy transition and the success of his own company, Yusufov states that “a pioneering spirit is the way to secure our future.” He continues: “What counts is not your industry’s situation – it is your own actions.” Being ready for an intensive transformation process, reorienting organisation and staff to new markets and advancing innovative strength: „All that made us stronger – and that is what we are proud of today,” says Yusufov.
The Top 100 award is based on academic research into the firms under consideration conducted by Professor Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics sand Business. This year these innovation experts have examined a total of 245 companies. The findings of this research are made available to the participating firms in the form of a benchmark report that reveals their potential and provides practical tips that can be applied immediately. “This success is the result of a team effort between senior management and colleagues,” says Yusufov. „It has shown that we are going in the right direction. We will now use the results of this survey to further refine our innovations management.”
In addition to Nordic Yards, a further 102 firms in three size-based categories received the Top 100 award. They include 51 German market leaders and 21 global market leaders. About two thirds of these firms are family-owned businesses. All of these companies together generated total revenue of approximately €13.5 billion in 2012. The Top 100 leading innovators reinvested around 10 per cent of this revenue directly in research and development, whereas German small and medium-sized enterprises overall spent only 1.4 per cent on R&D. Consequently, the award-winning firms are more successful: they generate 42.6 per cent of their revenue from products and services they have brought to market only in the last three years.
However, with 8.9 per cent the corresponding figure for German SMEs as a whole is a much lower. In consequence, 86 of the Top 100 firms (83.5 per cent) have generated growth that has outperformed the respective industry average in the past three years – by almost 15 percentage points on average.
Press release, July 7, 2013; Images: Nordic Yards