How do innovations arise? Rarely in a quiet, secluded room. Innovations primarily arise when ideas are exchanged, discussed and allowed to build upon each other. This was a guiding principle behind the innovation trade show held on September 27 by the Business Group Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) at the Weinheim industrial park – this time in a very special format.
Bigger and more transparent
A new approach was taken here to the sharing of knowledge. Previously, FST supported knowledge sharing within the framework of R&D conferences, which also included a feature called marketplaces. This is where individual projects were presented and discussed in detail in personal conversations. The sticking point: The time for these presentations was limited, and the exhibition was reserved exclusively for the conference participants. The new motto is therefore: bigger and more transparent.
At over 30 stands, representatives of FST and the corporate unit Freudenberg Technology Innovation (FTI) presented numerous innovations and projects to the visitors. Not merely employees from research and development but also employees from all other areas and Business Groups had the opportunity to learn about the various innovations. The organizers even provided an effective solution for those who were unable to attend in person: They were able to connect in real-time to a Double 3 – a remote-controlled telepresence robot (which looks a little like a Segway) – and participate directly in the discussions.
“While still maintaining the necessary confidentiality, we wanted to foster greater transparency, encourage others to share their innovations and generally intensify the spirit of ‘Innovating Together`," explains Jens Trabert, Global Vice President Innovation Commercialization at FST.
It was wonderful to see so many people at once after so long and to have the opportunity to exchange ideas in this way again.
Dr. Sabrina Hartmann, Director Business Development and Digitalization at FST
The reception was tremendous: Roughly 450 participants visited the show. There was no shortage of questions, interpretations, gesticulations and discussions. “It was wonderful to see so many people at once after so long and to have the opportunity to exchange ideas in this way again. However, the discussions are more intense and somewhat different from conversations held online,” notes Dr. Sabrina Hartmann, Director Business Development and Digitalization at FST.
The stands were thematically dedicated to five areas:
- promoting innovation
- innovations by the divisions
- materials and processes
While one stand was about sustainable materials, the next covered the second generation of heat shields and flame-resistant materials for batteries. Automated visual inspection and product lifecycle management as well as project management were also addressed by other stands. In short: There was a wide range of topics, which in turn drew the attention of a large number of people.