Ranga Yogeshwar presented these companies with the prestigious Top 100 award in Friedrichshafen on 22 June. This is the second time that hawo GmbH from Obrigheim, Baden-Württemberg has won this accolade. The panel of judges was particularly impressed by the innovations marketing practised by this world leader in medical packaging systems for hospitals and doctors' surgeries. A well thought out communications mix ensured that its new product, ValiPak, became a brand name within a year. This packaging system for sterile instruments produced by a family firm with fewer than 70 employees sets new standards in medical practice. Surgeries now have access to a fully monitored packaging process that was previously only suitable for hospitals but can now take place in a very small space. In daily practice instruments are washed and disinfected after a patient has been treated and then packaged before being sterilised. This ensures that they remain sterile within their packaging until the next treatment. The equipment available before now was only used in hospitals due to its size and cost, but hawo's new device is a compact, affordable alternative. Professor Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration have examined the innovations management systems used by small and medium-sized German companies. The best of them receive the prestigious Top 100 award. Christian Wolf, the firm's managing director, was delighted to have won this accolade and emphasised that this achievement had been a team performance. "I see this award as recognition of the work done by our staff. Their enthusiasm and efforts are the key driver behind our innovation. At the same time we have put in place the right processes to ensure that this creativity can unleash its full productive potential. Our success is a combination of these two factors."