Enterprise Europe Network innovation management advice
Hoppe Marine develops a range of systems solutions for sea-going ships. The company has devised the “Hoppe Laboratory” (HOLAB) to provide its staff with a space to co-create innovations. Hoppe Marine used Enterprise Europe Network’s innovation management advice service to inject new stimuli and perspectives into the development process.
The client always has a place at the table
HOLAB offers a forum for ideas and innovation. Here, Jochen Lohse and Klas Reimer of Hoppe Marine speak about the process and the background to it.
Mr Lohse, you’re in charge of Hoppe Marine’s digital strategy. What defines Hoppe Marine and why are ideas and innovation important to you?Hoppe Marine is a highly innovative company with a focus on instrumentation and control technology. To stay that way in future we want to feed the creativity and ideas of our staff into the development of new products and services as best we can. In parallel, digitalisation has taken on particular momentum during the coronavirus pandemic. And yet the key insights are not new: The maritime market is no different from the rest of the world in that it is constantly changing, and as a company we have to follow suit. What’s crucial here is how you change and how efficiently you go about it.
Mr Reimer, in August you opened HOLAB. Can you tell us what it is?
That sounds convincing, but how did HOLAB come about? Did the concept of a forum for ideas arise spontaneously, or did you seek advice?
We started out under our own steam, but we’re delighted that we discovered Tutech’s innovation management advice service, offered as part of the Enterprise Europe Network, at just the right time for us. That gave us the opportunity of an external perspective to support our process. Dr Margarete Remmert-Rieper, Senior Consultant at Tutech and an Enterprise Europe Network innovation adviser, became our sparring partner. She not only immediately grasped what we wanted to do by way of encouraging innovation in the company, she also provided significant impulses that nudged us in the right direction. We always came away with a lot from our meetings with Ms Remmert-Rieper. A number of the ideas that came up during these conversations have found their way into the final implementation. Our store of ideas for the near future is also well stocked.
Mr Lohse, having an innovation and digital strategy sounds good, but does it actually have much impact on the processes in the company? Tell us what its implementation looks like in practice.
Developing the company strategy, including the innovation and digital strategy, in complete isolation from the rest of the company would achieve absolutely nothing, and everyone in the company knows that. During the past six months we’ve carried out a broad-based process of strategy development throughout the company. Although this was set in train by management and given a rough framework, it was the many members of the workforce across the departments who got involved in defining the long-term goals for the company. Since the beginning of the year, different teams have been powering ahead on implementation. We expect to have initial results by the end of March.
Hoppe Marine – an unbroken passion for technology since 1949
Hoppe Marine is a highly innovative family-owned maritime group of companies whose strength is founded on constant technological inventions and patents for on-board measuring systems coupled with a skilled workforce in Germany where manufacturing and development is centred. The company is currently forging ahead with the digitalisation of measuring systems and is one of the leading providers in the field. Hoppe Marine’s good reputation is founded on quality, accuracy and reliability.
Since its establishment more than 70 years ago, the company has continued to develop and refocus its operations so as to retain its leading role.
Helping ambitious SMEs innovate and grow internationally
Tutech is the Hamburg partner in the EU-funded “Enterprise Europe Network” (EEN), providing access to the world’s largest service network for cross-border business support. The EEN team at Tutech and our network of 3,000 colleagues in more than 60 countries provide small and medium-sized enterprises and their partners with free targeted support to develop international business and research collaboration and advice on innovation and international operations.