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Innovation Strategy

thyssenkrupp brings together demanding engineering disciplines, specifically in the areas “Mechanical”, “Plant” and “Material”, which are essential in meeting rising demand from the growing world population for consumer and capital goods. Globalization, with its steadily growing energy and resource consumption, and increasing urbanization, with the associated need for infrastructure and buildings, are further challenges for which we develop innovative products and technologies. In all of this, we need to take existing constraints into account, such as scarcity of natural resources, climate change, and political conditions. Our innovative strength is based on a global research and development (R&D) network. thyssenkrupp has almost 3,000 employees working at more than 100 development centers in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

ThyssenKrupp Research and Development Expenditure

Key development areas

We make targeted use of our synergies as a diversified industrial group to develop future business fields for thyssenkrupp. Our systemic approach to innovation is based on cooperation beyond traditional sector and technology boundaries. This applies both to collaborations between business areas in the Group and to joint projects with external industrial partners. Our aim is to provide our customers with optimized end-to-end solutions.

In the future, value creation will increasingly address areas such as climate change, the energy transition, improved resource efficiency, and expanded recycling. A key role will be played by technologies needed for sustainable mobility as well as to transition the energy system from fossil fuels to renewables.

Innovation Management

Innovation is one of the most important aspects in the Strategic Development of thyssenkrupp. The ideas of our researchers are the foundation of our lasting business success. Our innovations are sustainable and reproducible through defined processes. We develop products and solutions that can be recycled and enable our customers to save on natural resources and energy. In our own production processes, too, we prioritize sustainable energy and circular material flows.

Sustainable Innovation: We have sustainability as well as research and development integrated into one corporate function so as to ensure that expertise with regard to products, production and sustainability is shared to the mutual benefit of all concerned. The integration enables us to leverage synergies and increases the transparency and efficiency of research work.

Product Lifecycle Management: thyssenkrupp Innovations are developed on the basis of our Product Lifecycle Management Process. In the process all life phases of a product – from drafting and construction to production, maintenance and disposal are taken into consideration and aligned with one another.

TechCenter Strategy: Our TechCenter strategy also plays an important role in product development. Structured like small start-up companies, they can quickly develop ideas to a point where it is possible make informed decisions about their market launch.

Cross industrial Innovation: Recent studies show that collaboration across the traditional system boundaries between industries and technologies is becoming increasingly important. This is one of thyssenkrupp’s biggest strengths as a diversified industrial company. Therefore we create dedicated networks to link the capabilities of our Business Areas, and include other companies in research and development.

Research Collaborations: thyssenkrupp cooperates with numerous renowned universities, colleges, and academic institutions in Germany and abroad. Our development teams also work closely with a broad network of nonuniversity research establishments.

Intellectual Property: Intellectual property protection through patents is a key element in securing the inventions of our employees, and thus our business. The innovations arising from our R&D activities are reflected in a portfolio of more than 16,000 patents and utility models.

Research centers

ThyssenKrupp Research

Highly trained employees form the basis for our strong innovation capabilities. Our innovation projects are now being driven forward by more than 3,000 employees in decentralized development centers and departments. The capabilities of the Group's various research and development areas are complementary: Synergies between the individual business areas are identified and exploited in a targeted way.