HUESKER Innovation Award, SME
Top 100 Mentor Ranga Yogeshwar (centre) ceremoniously presented the coveted Top 100 entrepreneur award to Managing Director Dr. F. Hans Grandin (left) and Andreas Elsing (right), Vice President Productmanagement/R&D.

Gescher, GERMANY – For more than 20 years, the Top 100 award has signified innovative ability, thirst for knowledge and team spirit. As one of Germany’s most successful ideas factories, HUESKER Synthetic received this coveted accolade on 27 June when Top 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar presented the award to Managing Director Dr. F.  Hans Grandin at the German SME Summit in Essen.
HUESKER ( is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of geosynthetics, agricultural and industrial textiles. With its products and services the company provides solutions for the business areas of Earthworks and Foundations, Roads and Pavements, Environmental Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering as well as for industrial and agricultural applications. Founded in 1861, the HUESKER Group today has subsidiaries in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the USA, Brazil and Russia and derives its strength from a wide range of products and services.
A characteristic element of the company’s success is its innovation culture which became apparent even at an early stage of the company’s history. As a result of re-orientation and a changeover to the production of synthetic textiles at the right time – which also created new markets – and contrary to the general decline in market development of the textile processing industry in the 1950s, HUESKER developed from a factory which processed woven textiles to become a company with a promising future and a world market leader for special solutions.
Since 2013, the in-house Research and Development department (R&D) has been pooled to take place in one main department. Thus HUESKER creates a climate for innovation where the focus of attention is on the transfer of knowledge within the company. The idea management scheme includes an intensive exchange of information and know-how between company staff as well as the focus on continual improvement of all processes. Dr. Grandin sums up the secret of success: “It is choosing the right blend of classical research in product development together with innovations in process and organisational development – that is, the holistic approach – which gives us long-term success and stability.” Dr. Grandin is convinced that “Thanks to the combination of strong management, a clear focus and a range of innovative products and services we can further strengthen our leading position worldwide and continue to grow”.
For Dr. Grandin, success among the Top 100 is something which is very special: “Our entire workforce has won this award. All our employees have worked incredibly hard over the past few years. The fact that we have now been rewarded for these achievements as being among the Top 100 innovators makes us feel even prouder. For us, this award not only acknowledges our efforts, it also inspires and stimulates us to continue following our path in the future.” This also creates new jobs in the region. The site expansions in Gescher and Dülmen are already underway.
Before the companies made it into the Top 100 there was a challenging selection process led by innovation researcher Professor Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The study focused on innovations management and successful innovation.
“The Top 100 companies are extremely adept at translating their ideas into market successes, a hurdle at which many other companies fall. Strong team spirit and efficient processes enable the leading innovators to overcome this challenge, and they often also involve customers and external partners at an early stage of development,” said Professor Franke.
A glance at the statistics demonstrates the high standard of this year’s Top 100, which include 65 German market leaders and as many as 21 world market leaders. In the past three years, the top innovators have together registered almost 2,100 German and international patents. Innovative capability has resulted in remarkable success for the companies, with 82 per cent of them exceeding the mean growth rate in their sector between 2011 and 2013 – on average by an impressive 22 percentage points. The proportion of their revenue attributable to innovative improvements and products new to the market was 41.6 per cent, compared with an average of just 6.8 per cent for all SMEs in Germany, while 62 per cent of the Top 100 are family owned.

About HUESKER Synthetic GmbH

The HUESKER Group ( is one of the leading international manufacturers of geosynthetics, agricultural and technical textiles. With its products and services the company offers solutions for the fields of Earthworks and Foundations, Roads and Pavements, Environmental Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, applications in Industry and Agriculture. As a pioneer of technical textiles HUESKER has been helping to shape the international markets for over 150 years.
The head office of the HUESKER Group is in Gescher (Westphalia), Germany and the company has international subsidiaries in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the USA, Brazil and Russia. In addition, HUESKER closely cooperates with trade and sales partners as well as having its own representatives in more than 60 countries. This ensures that HUESKER is able to offer high-quality products and competent engineering consulting services all over the world.
HUESKER offers an extensive palette of synthetic geogrids, woven and knitted fabrics, composites and clay liners. Nonwoven products as well as drainage and anti-erosion mats complete the range.

About the SME Innovation Award

The Top 100 mentor is the journalist and television presenter Ranga Yogeshwar.
This project has been managed by Professor Nikolaus Franke of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business since 2002. The focus of his research is on entrepreneurship, innovations management and marketing and he is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of user innovation. The Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research is the Top 100 project partner. Further information is available at
Compamedia – mentor to Germany’s top SMEs
Compamedia GmbH was founded in 1993 and has a team of 19 employees who organise the Top 100, Top Job and Top Consultant competitions for German SMEs. It also launched the Ethics in Business alliance for ethical values. It supports and awards prizes to small and medium-sized firms for outstanding achievements in the fields of innovation, human resources management, consulting and corporate social responsibility. compamedia works closely with leading universities on all of its projects.