Technology and Innovation Management Conference

Save the date: Oktober 1 to 2 2020| 14th Aachen Technology and Innovation Management Conference

Which potentials does cross-company collaboration offer and how can this be used in the innovation process? This year’s Technology and Innovation Management Conference on 21 and 22 November will address this question under the motto “Collaborate to Innovate – Making the Net Work”. Meet leading minds and decision-makers from industry and science in Aachen and discuss various issues relating to networked innovation.

In order to position themselves in the long term against the competition, innovative companies must increasingly act in networks that have the potential to synthesize unconnected company-specific knowledge in a novel way. The proactive development of partnerships is therefore indispensable for the creation and safeguarding of the innovative capacity of companies. Cooperation with start-ups, universities, customers or suppliers, the establishment of innovation hubs or technology partnerships are just a few examples of the opportunities available to companies today. The detailed presentation and deepening of successful approaches from industrial practice and science will be the focus of the conference.

The conference aims to enable participants to implement successful technology and innovation management approaches in their own businesses. The topics include the identification of new ideas and technologies, their targeted evaluation and development, and their implementation in successful products on the market. The conference focus on practice-based presentations given by top-level instructors from industry and research, introducing successful approaches on selected issues of modern technology and innovation management and address them in greater detail using case studies. In addition, new stimuli from applied research in technology and innovation management are presented.

Besides teaching of contents, this conference centers on interdisciplinary exchange and networking. The number of participants is limited so that an efficient knowledge transfer is guaranteed in the dialogue between the participants and the speakers. In addition to lectures from industry and science, a joint evening event and breaks offer numerous opportunities for professional and personal exchange and networking.

We sincerely invite you to exchange current findings and approaches in technology and innovation management with our top-class speakers and other participants during the conference.

1st Day | Thursday 21. November 2019

09.00 Reception and Get-together
09.30 Welcome
Toni Drescher, KEX Knowledge Exchange AG | INC Invention Center
Dr. Ramon Kreutzer, Fraunhofer IPT
09.45 Collaborative development of complex technical products
– Disruptive innovations require cooperation
– Innovation in highly regulated markets
– Organization and orchestration of technological verticals in start-ups
Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, Fraunhofer IPT | WZL der RWTH Aachen
11.00 Coffee Break
11.15 99% of the relevant knowledge lies outside the company’s own boundaries
– Industrial cooperation as a critical factor in the initiation and implementation of large-scale projects
– Managing alliances “correctly” and leveraging synergy potential between the parties involved: An example of success in the process industry
– F.A.I.L. = First Attempt In Learning – What role does the right corporate culture play?
Dr. Grzegorz Darlinski, Covestro Deutschland AG
12.00 Agile Innovation – An Intelligent Factory for Custom Products
– Co-innovation to use complementary competences and working cultures
– Objective between multidisciplinary partners while maintaining a continuous learning approach
– Development of a Smart Factory by iterative generation of incremental prototypes
Anita Friis Sommer, Ph.D., The Lego Group
12.45 Lunch
14.00 Collaboration as a Success Factor in the Silicon Valley Innovation Ecosystem
– Strategic partnerships: platform integration requires collaboration as a starting point
– The Importance of Exchange and Cooperation in the History of Silicon Valley
– Don’t compete! – How new technologies change our lives
Christoph Burkhardt, Burkhardt Group
15.15 Breakout Session
Get solutions from experts for your individual questions!
16.15 Coffee break + Exhibition
16.45 Building and activating global networks – implementing far-reaching changes
– “Act local” plus “Think global” – On the way to a globally thinking company
– “Not all invented here” – Development of a Best Practice Network in a heterogeneous production network
– “We don’t have time for this” – Dealing with resistance and new challenges
Dr. Frank Brandenburg, Georg Fischer Piping Systems Ltd.
20.00 Evening event in the Uptown Sky Lounge, Innside by Meliá Aachen

2nd day | Friday 22. November 2019

08.30 Welcome Coffee
09.00 Why does Open Innovation often fail in practice?
– Critical success factors for the implementation of Open Innovation – Five concrete approaches to improvement
– Methods for a collaborative innovation approach
– Open Innovation Platforms: Failed experiment or promising hope for the future?
Prof. Dr. Frank T. Piller, TIME Research Area of the RWTH Aachen University
10.15 Holistic open innovation for consumer goods and services
– Connect & Develop: A Strategic Approach for Cooperative Open Innovation Partnerships
– Every partnership is different – design for joint value creation
– Activating and accelerating capabilities to create new innovation S-curves and business growth
Hansjörg Reick, The Procter & Gamble Company
11.00 Coffee Break
11.30 Organizational challenges in the innovation process – Why good ideas alone cannot help
– What is “innovation”? – An Organizational Sociological Discourse
– The right organizational environment is a necessary condition for any successful innovation.
– The Role of Interdisciplinarity and Collaboration as a Critical Solution Tool
Dr. Thiemo Kessel, Continental AG
12.15 Wrap-Up
Toni Drescher, KEX Knowledge Exchange AG | INC Invention Center
Dr. Ramon Kreutzer, Fraunhofer IPT
13.00 Common Lunch
14.00 End of event


Impulse No. 1: Breakthroughs require networks

Successful companies increasingly use networks to create innovations.

Company internal networks help to identify current problems and to realize cross-divisional ideas. The integration of customers enables the early identification of problems and at the same time ensures that innovations are created in line with market requirements. By actively integrating startups, external ideas can be better identified and exploited by the company. Open cooperation with universities, research institutes, and suppliers also facilitates the target-oriented identification of solutions to problems.

It is important for companies to use these networks in the innovation process in a purposeful manner and to bring the respective stakeholders together at the right time. This requires a systematic and long-term approach.

Impulse No. 2: Interdisciplinary partners improve the innovation capability of the entire network

The diversity of the impulses and abilities of the members of a large network leads to completely new ideas and approaches. An interdisciplinary network is created when partners from different industries join each other to develop new products or services.

The different perspectives, approaches, and values of many partners have a positive effect on the innovative capacity of the network and increase the chances of radical innovations.

Impulse No. 3: Company Building as a resilient, separate innovation path

To ensure their innovative strength, companies today use various forms of separate innovation paths: accelerator programs, start-up incubators or the financing of young companies via corporate venture capital. In addition to these established paths, it is above all Corporate Company Builders that will establish themselves in the future. These are units with end-to-end responsibility, from the idea to the spin-off and scaling of an entrepreneurial concept.

The focus on project implementation and transparent KPIs help corporate company builders to demonstrate their relevance for the parent company.

Impulse No. 4: University ecosystems as a resource for the development of technological innovations

The importance of universities as regional and national drivers of innovation in today’s knowledge-intensive product development is enormous. Companies must develop and make use of university ecosystems and the experts involved. With the INC Invention Center embedded in an interdisciplinary center and cluster approach, the RWTH Aachen Campus offers a best practice in this context.

Impulse No. 5: Cross-industry exchange as a catalyst for innovation

New impulses and innovations reach different industries at different times. A functioning innovation network and regular exchange with companies outside the industry can be a catalyst for internal and cross-company innovations. Besides, an informal exchange of ideas and know-how within network meetings or cross-industry groups ensures the lasting inspiration of the employees involved.

Impulse No. 6: Communicate to Innovate – Every closed door significantly reduces communication

Intensive communication with all relevant stakeholders is the essential prerequisite for a successful innovation process. Through spatial proximity, communication barriers between integrated stakeholders can be reduced. Through a continuous exchange of information between all stakeholders, errors, malfunctions, and deficiencies can be identified at an early stage and error propagation avoided. The resulting transparency in the innovation process contributes significantly to the achievement of high development speeds.

Impulse No. 7: Start-up ft. Corporate – It’s all about the mix: Combining the advantages of different worlds

As part of their innovation strategy, many companies set up one or more innovation vehicles with the goal of identifying promising start-ups. The most important forms of innovation vehicles are innovation or digital labs, corporate venture capital, incubators, accelerators, and partnerships. On average, DAX companies use around three types of these innovation vehicles. Only one of the 30 DAX companies in the German top index does not use a single innovation vehicle. In medium-sized companies, the rate is just under 50%. (Source:

Impulse No. 8: Implicit knowledge for more innovative strength – Interdisciplinary cooperation promotes the reduction of silo mentality

Silo mentality represents one of the central obstacles in the innovation process. Companies that have successfully anchored an open innovation culture place regular innovations on the market. To this end, employees must be actively encouraged to distribute their knowledge across departmental boundaries within the company and thus exploit synergy potential. Interdisciplinary cooperation promotes the reduction of silo mentality and at the same time, strengthens access to implicit knowledge in the organization.

Impulse No. 9: Cooperation requires courage when it comes to the IP approach

Promising corporate cooperations often fail due to IP-protection rights. However, it is especially the combination of different knowledge that often enables the development of radical innovations. Modern network cooperations therefore require a change in corporate practice. The conscious opening of own intellectual property rights and the rejection of strict contractual regulations require courage, but hold great potential for the development of innovations.

Impulse No. 10: Taking the perspective of  value-creation partners

A better understanding of the intrinsic motivation of important value creation partners holds the potential to create additional benefits in the innovation process at different points in time. Closer cooperation across the entire value chain, for example, offers deeper insights into business processes, creates mutual understanding and helps to understand challenges from the customer’s or supplier’s point of view. Successful companies are also increasingly practicing skipping several stages of the value chain and collaborating with end customers.

Speaker Testimonies

Prof. Frank Piller – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference

Zitat_Piller_en-1-555x323 Experience Prof. Frank Piller live at the TIM Conference 2019. As a visionary and opinion leader in the field of Open Innovation, he talks about the advantages of modern network technologies and the challenges of open collaboration:

“A core pattern of innovation is synthesis — to combine previously not connected knowledge stocks in a novel way.  Open collaboration is the central activity to reach this goal, and modern networking technologies offer us an entire new toolset to do so.”

Christoph Burkhardt – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference

Zitat_Burkhardt_en-555x323 This year we are looking forward to welcoming Christoph Burkhardt again as a speaker at the 13th Aachen Technology and Innovation Management Conference. Christoph Burkhardt is a rousing, charismatic speaker who manages to captivate the audience with his unexpected statements. His open-minded approach to current trends fascinates as much as enriches his audience. This time, discover what drives San Francisco Bay to be a hotspot for innovation and how we can learn from it:

“It’s neither talent nor access to resources and technologies, it’s also not the willingness to take extraordinary risk or dream big that make the San Francisco Bay area such a hotspot for innovation. It’s the realization that success stems from collaborative effort. It’s a deeply connected ecosystem benefiting all of its members equally.”

Dr. Thiemo Kessel – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference


At this year’s Technology and Innovation Management Conference, we will present Dr. Thiemo Kessel, a speaker who will talk about the organizational challenges in the innovation process. Which structures foster the creation of innovations and which challenges come along with Ambidextry? Dr. Kessel talks about successfully implemented approaches in his company.

“We have to allow the breaking out of routines to enable innovation. A major challenge afterwards remains the feedback and ‘routineisation’ of these innovations. Interdisciplinarity and collaboration represent possible approaches to solving this paradox.”

Dr. Anita Friis Sommer – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference


What is it that makes LEGO so innovative? Learn from Anita Friis Sommer’s experiences and look forward to an exciting lecture!

“Co-innovating across disciplines and domains creates friction. But bringing together multiple competencies using Agile Innovation drives value creation faster and more effective than tackling challenges yourself.”

Dr. Grzegorz Darlinski – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference


Working in networks not only offers enormous advantages but also confronts companies with major challenges. At this year’s TIM conference, Dr. Darlinski will be talking about his profound insights at Covestro and the need to adapt internal structures and attitudes:

„Industrial symbiosis demands interdisciplinary cooperation – sometimes between completely different scientific and economic worlds. The right cooperation culture and constructive handling of mistakes are decisive success factors.“

Hansjörg Reick, Procter & Gamble – Speaker at the 13th TIM Conference


Threats are always good when they trigger companies to improve and change in order to remain competitive. It is wise to find out what competence makes the threat dangerous at its core. This competence must then be adopted. Efficient networks are an important force for successful companies. Hansjörg Reick will report on how Procter & Gamble deals with this topic at this year TIM Conference.

Participant Testimonies

Otfried Schwarzkopf – VOSS Automotive GmbH


VOSS Automotive GmbH has set up an incubator for the development of innovations in the INC Invention Center and thus uses the easy access to the ecosystem of the RWTH Aachen Campus. Meet Otfried Schwarzkopf at this year’s Technology and Innovation Management Conference and talk to him about his exciting experiences in implementing this new development path.

Andrea Stricker – 3M


New ideas emerge when thought-provoking impulses come from unexpected directions. Ms. Stricker from 3M knows how important it is to seek exchange and diversity and therefore appreciates the motivations of the Aachen Technology and Innovation Management Conference.

“Inspiration arises when a trigger meets existing knowledge. This is exactly what the TIM conference offers with an excellent mixture of lectures, interactive contents and a valuable exchange between the participants. This inspires enormously and is for us at 3M an important step on the way to innovation.”

Dr. Frank Mänken – Viega


For Dr. Frank Mänken, the exciting and substantial presentations make the Technology and Innovation Management Conference relevant and interesting. Above all, he appreciates the opportunity to discuss current topics from business practice with the conference participants from both industry and research. This year, you will have the opportunity to discuss the potentials and challenges of innovating in a network.

Klaus Bohle – 3M

Zitat_Bohle_en-555x323 Inspiration, exchange of knowledge and dialogue make it possible to understand new topics and technologies and thus correctly assess the effects of trends on one’s own business activities. For Klaus Bohle of 3M, the Aachen Technology and Innovation Management Conference is just the right event.

Dirk Bartels – thyssenkrupp AG

Zitat_Bartels_en-555x323 “My experiences as a speaker and guest at various technology and innovation management conferences have shown that the conference of the INC Invention Center is characterized by a unique mix of outstanding scientific presentations on the latest methods and tools as well as many very interesting industry experiences regarding their implementation. In addition, the conference offers the opportunity to make many new contacts and to conduct exciting discussions. I can strongly recommend to any technology and innovation manager participating in the TIM Conference”.

Target Group

The conference is aimed at specialists and managers of technology-oriented companies, in particular from the fields:

  • Research and development,
  • Technology and innovation management,
  • New Business Development,
  • Strategy,
  • Production,
  • technical purchasing.


Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof (c) Abaca Corporate/Uwe Noelke
Pullman Aachen Quellenhof
Monheimsallee 52
52062 Aachen, Germany



INC Invention Center

The INC Invention Center on the RWTH Aachen Campus is the place where visionaries and future planners redefine your company. Whether agile hardware development, stress tests or start-up screening, we make your company ready for the future. With targeted training offers, your employees become Chief Technology Managers and receive the necessary tools to master future challenges. Check your “Innovation Readiness Level” and put together the program that will give your company the new innovation spirit you need. As an INC member, you influence the key areas on which we focus our R&D and consortium project activities.

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Fraunhofer IPT

The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT develops system solutions for networked, adaptive production. Its clients come from the entire manufacturing industry – from automotive engineering and its suppliers to the aerospace, precision engineering and optical industries, life sciences and medical technology.

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KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

The KEX Knowledge Exchange AG is a professional information service provider for technology and market information. Intelligent knowledge management systems, as well as a comprehensive connection to independent information sources and a unique network of experts, enable useful scanning, scouting, and monitoring of technologies and markets. The company supports entrepreneurial decisions from the identification of competition-relevant technologies, the observation of markets, competitors, and M&A candidates to new business areas.

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TIME Research Area

TIME stands for Technology, Innovation, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. The common goal is to provide scientists, practitioners, and students with valuable evidence-based insights into the conception, development, design, commercialization, and continuous improvement of new products, services, and business models within established and newly established organizations. By pooling expertise and experience, the TIME Research Area can offer a unique mix of knowledge, global networking, and practical application and transfer experience.

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Werkzeugmaschinenlabor WZL

The machine tool laboratory WZL of the RWTH Aachen carries out research and consulting projects. The objective of dealing with the entire field of production technology issues results in a broad area of work, ranging from strategic innovation, production, and quality management to control, machine, manufacturing and measurement technology.

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At the 13th TIM conference under the motto “Collaborate to Innovate – Making the Net Work” more than 100 specialists and managers from the manufacturing industry vividly discussed the challenges of collaboration in the innovation environment.

Broschur 2019


The motto of the 12th conference was “Agile Invention: Hype or Game Changer?”. On October 25 and 26, 2018, the Fraunhofer IPT and its Spin-off Invention Center once again welcomed more than 100 experts and executives from industry to the Quellenhof in Aachen.



The 11th conference was centered on “Managing Breakthrough Innovations” and included a detailed presentation of successful innovation approaches from both industrial practice and science. The Fraunhofer IPT and the INC Invention Center once again welcomed more than 150 specialists and executives from industry to the Quellenhof in Aachen on October 18 and 19, 2017.




Dr.-Ing. Ramon Kreutzer

Head of department “Strategic technology management”

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
Steinbachstr. 17
52074 Aachen, Germany

Telefon +49 241 8904-507
Fax +49 241 8904-6507

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Dipl.-Ing. Toni Drescher

Head of department “Operational Technology Management”

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
Steinbachstr. 17
52074 Aachen, Germany

Telefon +49 241 8904-250
Fax +49 241 8904-6250

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