On 11-12 April, over 60 board members and managing directors of large medium-sized technology companies met for the CTO spring forum in the German engineering center of Google in Munich. Under the motto: “From soloist to orchestra conductor: Innovation in digital eco-systems”, the changes in the requirements for management, leadership and culture in companies that actively face the challenges of digital transform and master them successfully were discussed in the one and a half days . Dr. Wieland Holfelder, Vice President Engineering Google Germany, member of the Diesel Board of Trustees hosted the event.

The CTO Forum is a series of events organized by the Diesel Board of Trustees, the electoral body for the oldest German innovation award, the Diesel Medal, under the motto: “The CTO is responsible for the company’s technical vision”. In order to discuss the current challenges facing CTOs across all industries, to exchange experiences, to network better personally and to evaluate solutions from experts, the members of the Diesel Board of Trustees invite colleagues to the CTO forum at the German Institute for Invention (D.I.E.) twice a year.

Arri and the digitization of the film industry

The spring forum 2019 started on April 11th with a dinner in the rooms of the Arri film studios on the Bavaria film site. Arnold & Richter Cine Technik (Arri) is a global group of companies in the film and media industry with around 1500 employees worldwide. The company was founded in 1917 in Munich, where the headquarters are still today. Further branches exist in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

The invitation for dinner at Arri was made by Prof. Franz Kraus, who gave his honorary position on the board of trustees to the new ARRI technical director, Mr. Dr. Michael Neuhäuser handed over. Prof. Kraus changes to the Supervisory Board of the Arri Group. Since June 2001, he has been responsible for research and development as Chief Technology Officer. He joined ARRI in 1983 as Technical Director. Numerous management positions followed. Under his aegis, ARRI was awarded a total of nine times foroutstanding technical achievements by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including the development of the ARRILASER film setter and the ALEXA digital camera system. In 2011 Franz Kraus was personally honored with an Academy Award of Merit, an Oscar statuette – the highest honor in the film industry worldwide. In 2004 he was appointed honorary professor and head of the technology department at the University of Television and Film (HFF) in Munich. He is now head of the camera department. In addition, Franz Kraus became a curator at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (ISS), the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science ( AMPAS). Prof. Kraus gave his lecture under the title: “Innovative Technologies for a Conservative Industry: Insight into the Arri Digital Camera Technology”

The ARRI Group consists of the five divisions Camera Systems, Lighting, Media, Rental and Medical. ARRI is a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of camera and lighting systems for the film and television industry with a worldwide sales and service network. In addition, ARRI is an integrated media service provider in post- and co-production and in world distribution of films as well as in camera, light and stage rental. The Medical division focuses on the use of ARRI core technologies in medical technology. To date, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has presented ARRI with 19 scientific and technical awards in recognition of its innovative achievements in the film industry.

Here you can find the MIPLM case study on IP strategy and IP management at Arri: [ARRI case study]

RainTunes from Hansgrohe: The digitization of the shower experience

April 12th began with a presentation by Hansgrohe on the digitization of shower experiences. Frank Schnatz, Steffen Erath and Matthias Oesterle reported on the “Fourth aggregate state of water: How Hansgrohe is using digitalization to revolutionize the shower experience.” Hansgrohe has stood for mixers, showers and shower systems from the Black Forest for 118 years. In 2019, the successful long-established company will enter another era: Hansgrohe is using the possibilities of digitalization to make everyday moments with water even more beautiful – with RainTunes.

People, water, sustainability – these three terms shape the actions of the Hansgrohe Group; even in the digital age. Driven by the question of what significance digitalization has for people in the bathroom, an interdisciplinary innovation team, detached from day-to-day business, developed products that fundamentally change the shower experience for customers. However, it was not about digitization just for its own sake, but rather about striving to improve the quality of life of each individual customer. The innovation work focused on people and the question of how their lives can be improved. The aim was to use the digital Hansgrohe products to meet water-related needs and to arouse lasting emotions in the process. In order to achieve this, Hansgrohe consistently thinks in terms of people.

The innovation department was challenged to try out new ways and structures in product development. Together with Phoenix Design, long-standing innovation partner of Hansgrohe and one of the best in their industry, they dared to take this path. At ISH in March 2019 – the world’s leading trade fair for sanitary solutions, energy and air conditioning technology in Frankfurt – the time had finally come. Hansgrohe and Phoenix Design have reached their first milestone. There they presented two digital solutions from Hansgrohe’s “Smart Living World” to the global public. The innovative products are individual, realistic, transformative for Hansgrohe and at the same time surprising and inspiring for the user … and even patentable. A wide variety of disciplines, processes and working methods came together in product development. In order not to fall into old ways of thinking, but to create something new, Hansgrohe and Phoenix Design have created a different, future-proof work environment in which digital ideas can grow and become successful. The Hansgrohe InnoLab developed from the project and is now the breeding ground for further innovations.

With the new InnoLab, Hansgrohe has succeeded in transforming the innovation department and positioning it in the best possible way for the future. This ability to constantly develop and strive for new innovations has always been deeply anchored in Hansgrohe’s DNA: Klaus Grohe, who was CEO until 2008, led the company’s tradition of innovation with his inventive talent and hands-on mentality and became a role model for today’s innovation team: courage, the right level of risk tolerance and a good (gut) feeling are what set Hansgrohe apart to this day.

Here you will find the MIPLM case study on the use of IP design for agile innovation management in the design and protection of RainTunes: [Hansgrohe case study]

Frank Schnatz is a member of the Executive Board of Hansgrohe SE and a member of the Diesel Board of Trustees. The graduate engineer and graduate industrial engineer came to Schiltachter fittings and shower manufacturers in 2015. Before that, Frank Schnatz held various management positions in production and management in Germany and abroad. Most recently he worked for WMF AG, where he was managing director of the Silit brand and, in March 2013, also became Vice President Production, Operations Strategy and Projects. Since 2015 he has been responsible for product development, production and quality management at Hansgrohe SE.

Steffen Erath is Head of Innovation at Hansgrohe SE and thus the creative head of innovation at the Black Forest sanitary company. Under his leadership, radical ideas are spun and checked for feasibility and profitability. With the establishment of the InnoLab, Steffen Erath has created a different, future-proof work environment at Hansgrohe, in which radical innovation projects can grow and become successful. The latest innovation that arose under his leadership is the hansgrohe RainTunes. The industrial engineering graduate came to Hansgrohe in 2005, where he began as a product manager. He says the best thing about his job at Hansgrohe is the magic of the new.

Matthias Oesterle is Design Business Manager at Phoenix Design. After studying product design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, his career began at Phoenix Design in Stuttgart. With his many years of experience in design and in the development of brand and product range strategies, he now manages innovative projects for customers such as Hansgrohe, Schindler and Viessmann. As a trend expert, he is responsible for the Phoenix Design TrendLab. Matthias Oesterle is also a lecturer at the Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Applied Sciences and thus shapes the Phoenix Design Academy.

Huawei: the future of industry with 5G

5G is on everyone’s lips and at present one could get the impression that it is a fundamentally new technology that is disruptive and unconditionally permeating all areas of society. This perception partially fails to recognize that 5G, as the 5th generation of cellular technology, is based on decades of experience in the global operation of cellular networks, the most successful industrial and economic ecosystem of all time. In the meantime, more than 5 billion people are supplied with mobile communication, 3.3 billion people are given access to the Internet, 2.6 billion smartphones as the basis for the digitization of essential areas of personal and economic life such as banking, individual mobility, entertainment, consumption , Communication and countless other applications.

In this context, the evolution of mobile communications technology to 5G, with its specific advances in data transmission capabilities with lower delays, higher data rates and transmission reliability, is opening up a revolution in use, increasingly in the industrial environment. The effective concept of the continued renouncement of wired communication through increasingly better robust wireless transmission technologies is so powerful that the industry in the course of increasing autonomous and / or cooperative robotics, automated driving, the ubiquity of sensors for digital recording / mirroring of reality ( Keyword Internet of Things, ‘digital twin’ in the broadest sense, Industry 4.0) is entering a new era. This new space is not created as a ‘big bang’ but is explored step by step and conceptually designed. The lecture will deal with questions regarding the state of 5G technology globally and in relation to Germany and explain what 5G looks like, both technically, with a view to the regulatory situation in Germany, as well as how 5G networks are built or illuminated. Some 5G applications are presented and an outlook is dared, for example, on the relationship between 5G and artificial intelligence. The role of Huawei as an ICT provider for digital infrastructure in the 5G ecosystem will also be highlighted.

Dr. Michael Lemke has more than 26 years of experience in mobile communications and ICT and in all fields of activity such as R&D, product management, marketing, business development, regulation and communication. After completing his doctorate in nuclear physics at the Technical University of Dresden, he started his professional career in 1992 in the research and development department of the Siemens communications division. He then worked for the company as a product manager for mobile communications, from 2000 in the field of mobile Internet / network security and data services. For Siemens and Nokia Siemens Networks, in 2006/2007 he led the LTE / SAE Trial Initiative for the introduction of LTE as a fourthgeneration mobile radio technology. Michael Lemke has been working for Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH since the end of 2007. Initially, his main focus was on LTE product management / cellular technology marketing and MBB business development in Europe. From 2010 on he was responsible for Huawei Wireless Marketing in the Huawei Deutsche Telekom Key Account Department.

What does the patent landscape look like with 5G? While the second generation of digital mobile communications GSM managed with around 350 patents, UMTS with around 1,200 and LTE with over 4,000, a portfolio analysis showed that more than 25,000 patents from more than 20 companies were declared as “standard essential” for 5G, and the portfolio for the basic infrastructure of the “Internet of Things” continues to grow. Huawei is active in standardization committees with almost 2,000 employees. More than 10,000 legal disputes about license fees for standard essence patents (SEP) are already being fought worldwide – a patent war is raging over mobile communications standards; Huawei is already the leading patent applicant in Europe. This is part of a large-scale patent offensive by China in order to achieve a position as a global innovation leader. China’s international IP strategy was presented at the European Patent Office in autumn 2016. It was observed in December 2018 that patent strategies in mobile communications are already influencing real industry today. VW paid Broadcom out of court damages for patent infringement suits in the amount of 1 billion euros and the threat of a production stop for the Golf, Passat, Touran, Tiguan and models from Porsche and Audi.

Interview with Richard Gaul: “Crisis Communication – Talking is Gold”

The best crisis communication is – no crisis…. That sounds absurd, but in the field of communication, almost EVERY event has the potential to cause a crisis, at least in terms of public impact: by acting incorrectly in communication, it can always turn into a crisis. That is why good preparation for as many eventualities as possible helps. You can only react appropriately, even better, with appropriate preparation. In a crisis, it is no longer the facts alone that are decisive, but above all their interpretation.

Speed – without hectic rush – is one of the most important prerequisites for successful crisis management. “Fast and true” is the ideal claim. The truth must never be glossed over – otherwise someone else will dramatize it; Your own motives should be made clear as soon as possible – otherwise there is only speculation about it. This openness should apply first and foremost to the most unpleasant facts. Courage is required here – but not audacity. In a crisis, the facts – all – come on the table, always. Since in the end nothing will remain hidden anyway, you are well advised to communicate the facts yourself right away – then of course with the appropriate classification. The popular saying “Talking is silver, silence is gold” does not apply in the communication crisis – talking is gold.

Particularly in times of crisis, action must be taken with particular care. It starts with preparation – for potential crises. Because most crises come as a surprise to the public, but often not to those affected! In most cases, the potential for a communication crisis could be recognized very early on. Good crisis management ultimately includes the willingness to accept the consequences. Whoever takes responsibility and then takes the resulting steps opens the door to a second chance – after the crisis.

Richard Gaul is a communications and investment advisor. He is partner and managing director of 1 Future international – 1Fi GmbH as well as a partner in Sonderfahrzeugbau Holding GmbH (SHG). After studying economics and politics, Richard Gaul initially worked as a journalist for 16 years, including at the Stuttgarter Zeitung, the Manager Magazin and the ZEIT. From 1985 to 2006 Richard Gaul represented BMW AG in public – most recently as head of the “Press and Public Relations” department.



The reports from the industrial councils ended the 2019 CTO spring forum. Dr. Oliver Kelkar and Theo Grünewald presented the Tec Impact Report for the analysis of eco-systems and possible transformation scenarios. Dr. Dirk Artelt and Johannes Spannagl moderated a live vote in the plenum on the new role of the CTO in the areas: R&D, innovation, digitization and future. Prof. Dr. Gunther Herr presented the draft position paper on digital corporate transformation.