Current Benchmarking

The Consortium-Benchmarking »Agile Invention« aims to find answers to central questions in the early phases of the development process.

Incremental developments present companies with manageable challenges. In this way, existing products can be further developed without great risk in accordance with customer requirements, enabling companies to maintain their existing competitive position and generate profits in the short term. However, in order to secure the competitive situation in the long term, companies must also focus on innovations that have the potential to radically change existing business areas, which is often associated with great uncertainties. Entrepreneurs increasingly have to act outside their core business and address customers before they have recognized their own needs. Especially in the early phases of the development process up to series development, successful companies therefore rely on new approaches in product development and innovation management. Separate innovation paths are increasingly being used for this type of innovation, which drive developments outside the actual day-to-day business.

Together with innovation leaders from the industry, we started our benchmark on February 15, 2018, which aims to identify the success factors for the fuzzy front-end development of disruptive innovations. Furthermore, we would like to promote the mutual exchange in the network with international companies from different industries.


Possible Topics


Project Running



February 15, 2018 – November 2018


Invention Center

The Invention Center on the RWTH Aachen campus is where participating companies can obtain further qualifications in the field of technology and innovation management along with optimum solutions to any challenges which arise. In collaboration with the TIME Research Area, the Fraunhofer IPT, the WZL of the RWTH Aachen University and the KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, a »World of Experience« is designed, which provides planners and decision-makers in industry with the opportunity to experience the entire process from the initial development idea through to the manufacture of products suitable for mass production. The underlying concept is fine-tuned carefully to match the projects, capabilities and interests of companies involved.

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

On behalf of our customers we develop and optimize new and existing solutions for modern production. The aim of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT is to conduct application and industry-oriented research and development for companies throughout the entire manufacturing sector. The results are promptly implemented in the operating practice of our customers. We focus on sectors ranging from the automotive industry and its suppliers, particularly on tool and die making, through aerospace, precision engineering and optical industries through to machine tool construction.

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL

The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH University Aachen conducts both basic and industry-oriented research and consulting projects, developing innovative, practice-based solutions to safeguard successful company development. The goal, to
address the whole range of production engineering issues, results in an expansive field of activity extending from strategy innovation, production and quality management to control, machine, manufacturing and measuring engineering.

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG is a professional service providing technology and market-related information. The enterprise concentrates over 20 years of experience acquired by Aachen-based institutes covering a diverse range of disciplines in searching for, assessing and interpreting information. Intelligent knowledge management systems and the comprehensive links to exclusive sources of information and to a unique network of experts permit technologies and markets to be scanned, scouted and monitored effectively. By providing requirement-specific information, the enterprise supports corporate decision-making ranging from the identification of technologies of relevance in the competitive environment through the observation of markets, competitors and M&A candidates to the identification of new business areas.