Nabaltec is one of the 100 most innovative medium-sized enterprises in Germany

Lothar Späth awards Top 100 seal of approval to Bavarian chemicals company

Schwandorf, (PresseBox) - Nabaltec AG is one of the 100 most innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Germany. The company has been awarded a seal of approval in the 16th Top 100 corporate benchmarking competition for its systematic, well thought out and successful innovation management. Lothar Späth, former state premier of Baden-Württemberg, presented this prestigious award to Nabaltec at an official ceremony in Düsseldorf's Meilenwerk building on Friday, 4 July 2008.

As patron of the SME project he recognized Nabaltec's achievements in the five key categories of "Climate of Innovation", "Innovative Processes and Organization", "Innovations Marketing", "Successful Innovations" and "Innovation-friendly Senior Management".

The firm - whose revenues totaled around € 90 million in 2007 - develops, produces and distributes highly specialized products in the fields of functional fillers and technical ceramics. Nabaltec AG has developed environmentally friendly flame retardants based on aluminum hydroxide which are halogen-free and do not contain any substances that could be a potential health hazard. These fillers are used in cables in airports, tunnels and high-rise buildings.

Nabaltec has been awarded a seal of approval for its open, innovative thinking that goes beyond traditional boundaries. It holds monthly interdepartmental staff meetings that focus on new products and their potential applications as well as on ways to improve production processes. The company is also happy to take on board expertise from outside, one example of which is the improvement of energy processes in production. In partnership with a third party, Nabaltec has developed systems that use substantially less process energy and result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, not to mention the fact that they cut the company's energy costs every year. 2008 is the third year in which Nabaltec AG has been awarded the Top 100 seal of approval.

To qualify for the award, the company had to undergo a stringent two-stage process devised by the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Professor Nikolaus Franke assesses the innovative capabilities of the entrants and selects the top one hundred, which this year include 49 German market leaders and 17 global market leaders. The results in other categories also illustrate the exceptional position of the top 100 companies, as shown by a benchmarking survey undertaken by Vienna University. This reveals that the top 100 companies are twice as successful in terms of innovation as other SMEs in their peer group. In the past three years they generated 67 per cent of their profits from innovations and innovative improvements - compared with 35 per cent in the sample of similarly structured companies.

58 per cent of the top 100 companies provide "internal venture capital", i.e. money for employees to pursue their own innovative ideas - compared with just 2 per cent of the average SMEs questioned. "I was very impressed by this figure, but not surprised by it. After all, if you want to launch radically new products and to succeed with them, you have to be willing to take certain risks" says Professor Franke. With such tough competition, Nabaltec is even prouder of its place in the Top 100 as Member of the Board Gerhard Witzany confirms "We are now one of the 100 most innovative SMEs in Germany, which proves to us that we are on the right track".

All 100 companies are featured in the book " Top 100 - the 100 most innovative companies in Germany's SME sector" introduced by Lothar Späth and on the website www.top100.de. The Top 100 project is organized by compamedia GmbH, Überlingen, Germany. Overall, more than 342 companies entered the Top 100 competition this year. The next round of this prestigious competition for SMEs begins in September 2008.

Mentor, partners and coordination

The project's patron is Lothar Späth. Partners in the project are: Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, the German Centre for Productivity and Innovation (RKW), the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) and the Association of German Engineers (VDI). Its media partner is the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The project is coordinated by Professor Nikolaus Franke of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Nabaltec AG

Nabaltec AG, with registered office in Schwandorf, a chemicals business which has received multiple awards for innovativeness, manufactures, develops and distributes highly specialized products based on aluminum hydroxide ("ATH") and aluminum oxide, as well as other raw materials, on an industrial scale through its "Functional Fillers" and "Technical Ceramics" divisions. The company's product range includes flame retardant fillers for the plastics industry, used e.g. in cables in tunnels, airports, high-rise buildings and electronic devices, as well as base materials for use in technical ceramics, the refractory industry and catalysis. Unlike halogenated flame retardant fillers, the products manufactured by the company's "Functional Fillers" division contain no hazardous substances and do not require separate disposal. Rather, the company's flame retardant fillers actually decrease the development of fumes hazardous to human health and the environment in the event of fire. Nabaltec maintains production sites in Germany and the US. It aims to further consolidate its market position by increasing capacity, continuing to optimize its processes and product quality and strategic additions to its product range and to secure the market leadership in each segment where its specialty products are represented, in addition to qualitative leadership.

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