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The word innovation management suggests that innovation can be managed in a targeted manner using specified key figures. This may work for innovations that are just small improvements. However, anyone who wants to create disruptive innovations must have dreams and the firm belief that they can change the “world”.

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Profitability must not inhibit creativity!

As current technical developments show, Germany is very progressive in terms of iterative, incremental development. However, traditionally positioned companies have difficulties when it comes to digitization or innovations.

Groundbreaking innovations are not currently expected from German medium-sized companies. A major obstacle here is that a culture of “being allowed to spin” and “being allowed to fail” does not prevail in companies.

Rather, the return on investment is in the foreground. New developments and creative approaches are often not allowed.

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Failure permitted on the way to success!

To establish a culture of trying new things, given mechanisms and processes must be circumvented. Easier: Every now and then creativity breaks the rules.

This is almost impossible in a normal work environment. Die-hard ways of thinking and working cannot be ignored one day of the week and adhered to again the next day.

In our experience, it has therefore proven useful to have teams work away from their actual tasks in a very limited time frame and to have interim results presented regularly.

A success factor is that these teams consist to a large extent of young engineers/students who are still free to think. They know the requirements of the future and are often much more familiar with the most modern digital tools than some “old hands”.


Innovation pays off!

  • Identification of trends and future opportunities and risks
  • Turning an idea into a successful innovation
  • Realization of the first prototypes in a very short time
  • Use of the most modern engineering methods
  • Testing innovative technologies
  • Multi-stage realization of prototypes/demonstrators
  • Inexpensive and fast testing of innovative ideas
  • Building agile teams
  • Intelligent form of recruiting
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Give the engineering spirit enough space!

It has proven particularly useful when these agile teams can initially give free rein to their wishes and dreams for the future. So-called Make-Marathons (MAKEATHONS), which last between eight hours and several days, are a very good approach to converting these ideas into the first prototypes.

Experienced engineers are often amazed at what can be achieved in such a short time. Particularly interesting “inventions“ can then be implemented in even more  extensive demonstrators. At one of the largest demonstrators that ITQ built for the VDMA, 36 students implemented a complete packaging machine in just 36 weeks. The highly innovative functions amazed a large audience at trade fairs.


Find and allow creative approaches!

  • Idea management for finding, developing and evaluating ideas
  • Organization of international training events (MAKEATHONS)
  • Provision/search of suitable students /candidates
  • Establishing contacts with universities and other companies
  • Numerous demonstrators available to show possibilities
  • Worldwide, broad network to companies, universities and institutions

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Those who are not allowed to make mistakes will stop thinking innovatively. Let‘s be braver! Let us allow mistakes, learn from them and implement innovative dreams.

Dr.-Ing. Rainer Stetter, ITQ Managing Director

ITQ Ansprechpartner Dr Rainer Stetter
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