One glass, lots of ideas

Date: 6 September 2011
The winners of the SCHOTT-Rohrglas ideas competition have been chosen: Thomas E. Miller from the U.S. state of Illinois came in first place thanks to his idea of using non-round glass tubes for many different types of sun protection elements.

He earned first prize out of the 500 ideas that were submitted. In total, close to 800 participants from 68 countries followed SCHOTT-Rohrglas’s invitation to suggest possible applications for non-round CONTURAX® Pro glass tubes. The top seven contributions were recognized during an award ceremony held in Mainz today.

The winners of the SCHOTT-Rohrglas ideas competition were honored during an award ceremony at SCHOTT group

Enthusiastic response The ideas competition was held by SCHOTT-Rohrglas on the Internet platform over a period of eight weeks. Based on the “open innovation” principle, the first project of its kind at SCHOTT, the broad public was invited to submit ideas for new applications and markets for non-round CONTURAX® Pro glass tubing.

“Innovation is a topic of great importance to us as an international technology company. Here, we must see to it that we remain open for new ideas. This is why we opened up the innovation process with the ideas competition held by SCHOTT-Rohrglas and gave the broad public the chance to actively take part in the idea-finding process,” says Prof. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG. “At the same time, this project enabled us to drive forward yet another innovation, namely to establish a new platform for open innovation. So, this means we achieved two goals at once,” he added.

Non-round diversity Triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal or more – the suggestions generated by the ideas competition were as diverse as the glass tubing CONTURAX® Pro form SCHOTT itself. The first seven places already included ideas for areas such as architecture, design and illumination, but also approaches in the fields of science and traffic safety. “We assessed all of the ideas based on criteria that included benefits to customers, technical feasibility and market potential,” explains Dr. Nikolaos Katsikis, Director of Business Development at SCHOTT-Rohrglas. “Furthermore, we have started implementing some of the initial ideas together with partner companies that are already active in the respective areas of application,” he noted.

After today’s award ceremony in Mainz, the starting signal was given for the new nation-wide open innovation platform “Innovationskraftwerk” ( At the initiative of “Germany – Land of ideas” and inno-focus businessconsulting, partners from the worlds of business, science and society will be joining forces to open their innovation processes for the first time ever.

600450 One glass, lots of ideas

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