Dornbirn, Austria – The Zumtobel Group has presented the first ever Dr. Walter Zumtobel Innovation Award. The award is an internal accolade initiated by CEO Ulrich Schumacher in conjunction with Nicholas Zumtobel, the grandson of company founder Dr. Walter Zumtobel. The idea behind the award is to anchor the topic of innovation more firmly than ever within the corporate culture of the Group and to foster and reward the innovation potential of its employees.
Teams of employees from all over the world entered for the award, submitting a total of 139 projects in three categories: “Product and Service Innovation”, “Process Innovation” and “Customer Satisfaction”. The winners were chosen in a two-stage selection process. First a preliminary jury nominated 19 projects that met all requirements in their respective categories to a commendable degree. Then the final jury, comprising CEO Ulrich Schumacher, Supervisory Board Chairman Jürg Zumtobel, top managers from several business units and an external technology expert, selected the four winning projects. On 19 February the winners were honored at a ceremony at the Werkraum craftsmens’ forum in Andelsbuch in the Bregenzerwald region of Austria, attended by the Management Board, the Jury and numerous members of the Zumtobel family, as well as by the nominated project teams from around the world.
In the “Product and Service Innovation” category, the jury awarded a first prize to not one but two projects that are not only of crucial importance for the Zumtobel Group in terms of advancing its product engineering, but also help reposition the Group in the field of smart lighting. The winning project in the “Process Innovation” category was developed and implemented in Dornbirn and has set a new benchmark in the automation of production procedures across the Group. In the “Customer Satisfaction” category, the most impressive project for the jury concerned new approaches to customer consulting and in-house continuing professional development. The award went to a project that has been rolled out worldwide and is primarily designed to foster and reinforce international and cross-regional teamwork among sales staff.
Further information about the Dr. Walter Zumtobel Award can be found here.
“At times of far-reaching technological change it is important for us to move forward into a new age of light with new and innovative ideas; an age that is increasingly dominated by the topic of smart lighting in a connected world. Here we are constantly on the lookout for new products, solutions and services for our customers around the world. The Dr. Walter Zumtobel Innovation Award provides us with an important means of promoting and rewarding the innovative potential shown by our employees,” said Ulrich Schumacher, Zumtobel Group CEO and co-initiator of the award.
The decision to name the award after the company’s founder was an obvious one: Throughout his life, Dr. Walter Zumtobel was a passionate inventor and gifted engineer who was directly involved in the development of many new products. Today the Zumtobel family retains its close bonds with the company as its core shareholder. Along with the family’s presence on the Supervisory Board, today several third and fourth generation family members also work for the company. As a result, the culture of the Zumtobel Group remains closely linked to the company’s founder and his family.
“The Dr. Walter Zumtobel Award plays its part in maintaining this proud tradition at our company. I personally am delighted that so many employees chose to enter for the award in its very first year. I’d like to thank everyone who took part and my sincere congratulations go to all the winning teams,” said Nicholas Zumtobel, patron of the Dr. Walter Zumtobel Award and grandson of the company founder.
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All winning teams of the Dr. Walter Zumtobel Innovation Award together with the jury and members of the Zumtobel family.