Mid-sized company impresses in innovation competition / scientific selection procedure successfully passed

Freiburg – Award-winning innovative capacity: Z-LASER GmbH from Freiburg has been presented with the TOP 100 seal for 2021. This award is used to honour particularly innovative small and medium-sized companies – and is being presented for the 28th time. Prior to this, Z-LASER GmbH had already demonstrated its innovative capacity in a scientific selection procedure.

Commissioned by compamedia, the organiser of the TOP 100 innovation competition, innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team examined the innovative capacity of Z-LASER. The researchers based their assessment on around 120 test criteria in five categories: top management that fosters innovation, a climate of innovation, innovative processes and organisation, an outward orientation/open innovation and innovative success. At the core lies the question of whether innovations are the result of a planned, strategic approach or a product of chance. In other words, it is all about the replicability of innovative achievements. Whether and how the corresponding solutions succeed in the market is also important in this regard (you can find further information on the test criteria at: www.top100.de/pruefkriterien). Due to the current situation, this year’s competition also included a special section that examined companies’ reaction to the coronavirus crisis. The mid-size company now ranks among the top innovators for the second time.

Z-LASER operates in the optoelectronics industry. Above all, the company has made a name for itself as a specialist in the field of positioning lasers. Z-LASER has been researching, developing and producing laser modules and laser projectors for positioning applications in a very wide range of sectors for more than 35 years. From the construction industry, through the automotive and energy sectors, all the way to the medical engineering sector: lasers from the specialists in Freiburg are in use throughout the world.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, Chief Scientist at TOP 100, is impressed by the award-winning small and medium-sized companies. “The TOP 100 companies have consistently aligned their operations to be as innovative as possible,” he comments.

There will be yet another reason to celebrate on November 26, when all winners from the current TOP 100 year will get together for the 7th German Summit for Mid-Sized Companies in Ludwigsburg and be officially congratulated by Ranga Yogeshwar. The scientific journalist has been supporting the innovation competition as a mentor for ten years.

TOP 100: The competition

Since 1993, compamedia has been presenting the TOP 100 seal to small and medium-sized companies that demonstrate special innovative capacity and outstanding innovative successes. Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke has been responsible for scientific supervision of the event since 2002. Franke is both the founder and Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). With 25 research awards and over 200 publications, he ranks among the leading international innovation researchers. The scientific journalist Ranga Yogeshwar is the mentor of TOP 100. The Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW) are project partners. The ‘manager magazin’ and ‘impulse’ publications accompany the competition as media partners. You can find more information and also register at: www.top100.de.

More information and also general visuals relating to the TOP 100 competition are available on the Internet at: www.top100.de/presse or by sending an e-mail to: [email protected]. Marcel Rottler (Head of Marketing) can also provide you with further information on the award-winning company:


Contact at Z-LASER GmbH

Marcel Rottler

Merzhauser Str. 134

79100 Freiburg
+49 (0)761 296 443 02
[email protected]