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R&D Autumn Conferences


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The R&D Autumn Conference has been held every year since 2007. At different places in Europe dedicated technology and management topics have been discussed and investigated. The basic idea of the conference is to provide a forum for managers from various industries to meet peers, discuss topics of mutual interest and to share best practices.

   13th R&D Autumn Conference 2019 Giengen

"Strategic R&D Management"

October 17-18, 2019

The 13th R&D Autumn Conference in Giengen (Germany) has focussed on success factors in strategic R&D management: leadership, product development processes, technology strategies, technology roadmapping, continuous improvement, agile development and security concepts. This year our industrial partner was B/S/H/, the world's second-largest home appliance manufacturer, well known for their brands Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, Neff and many others. In Giengen, B/S/H/ develops and produces its refrigeration and freezing products.

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Participants: Bernd Last (Weber Hydraulik), David Griffin (42 Technology Ltd), Gerrit Bleumer (Scheidt & Bachmann), Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology SA), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi), Karin Weigelt (Prismade), Thomas Plattner (Kern), Clemens Türck (Ravensburger Verlag), Peter Junold (Diehl Controls), Daniel Drochner (Siegwerk), Patrick Betz (Spitäler FMI), Marcel Führen (Comet), Godehard Nentwig (B/S/H/), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Christian Berg (Inficon AG), Norbert Gerstner (B/S/H/) and Joachim Lyszus (Diehl Controls). Not in the picture: Matthias Grünwald (B/S/H/), Jürgen Klein (B/S/H/) and Mathias Glasmacher (Diehl Ventures).

   12th R&D Autumn Conference 2018 Balzers

"Turning Innovation into Profitable Business"

October 18-19, 2018

The path from idea to product is long, even if the idea can be developed into an innovative concept. And to transform the concept into profitable and sustainable business is even more challenging. All too often, the prototype vanishes in the closet and the pilot project gets lost in the quicksand of everyday business. During the 12th R&D Autumn Conference in Balzers we have discussed and analysed methodologies of how to turn an innovative concept into a profitable business. Speakers from different industrial areas have shared their learnings and best practices on how to avoid spending money on good ideas without ever realising any profit. This year our industrial partner was Inficon, a leading provider for world-class instruments for gas analysis, measurement and control.

Participants: Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology SA), Christian Berg (Inficon AG), Joachim Neumann (Mindo Software SLU), Werner Haag (Werner Haag Consulting GmbH), Joachim Lyszus (Diehl Controls), David Griffin (42 Technology Ltd), Bernd Last (Diehl Controls), Urs Wälchli (Inficon AG), Hansjörg Klock (IMD Vista), Heinz Ruffieux (On Demand Management), Clemens Türck (Ravensburger Spieleverlag), Sasa Dobrijevic (innoforum GmbH), Alex Breton (PrintDreams International AB) and Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology).

   11th R&D Autumn Conference 2017 Ingolstadt

"Industrial Excellence in Successful Organisations"

October 12-13, 2017

Has there ever been an industrial development project which was finished on time, on budget and according to the specifications? Today's R&D managers are under pressure from all sides: sales, puchasing, production, finance, quality, legal ... and there is not just one project, but a whole portfolio which has to be managed while keeping the team in good mood. During the 11th R&D Autumn Conference in Ingolstadt we have investigated, analysed and discussed best-in-class methodologies and tools being applied in successful organisations. This year our industrial partner was Audi, one of the most innovative automotive companies in the world. The factory tour on Friday morning made a lasting impression on the participants: every 86 seconds an A3 or Q2 rolled off the production lines.

Participants: Andreas Merker (Audi AG), Heiko Roßkamp (Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG), Patrick Betz (Spitäler FMI AG), Gerrit Bleumer (Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH), Hansjörg Klock (Product Innovation), Vincent Francescini (HITACHI Vantara), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), David Griffin (42 Technology Ltd), Clemens Türck (Ravensburger Spieleverlag), Tobias Goeke (Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi A/S), Uwe Fritsch (Meyer Burger AG), Joachim Lyszus (Diehl Controls), Alex Breton (PrintDreams International AB), Kivanc Özer (Audi AG), Thomas Plattner (Kern AG), Sasa Dobrijevic (innoforum GmbH), Alexander Grages (Audi AG), Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology SA) and Werner Haag (Werner Haag Consulting GmbH).

   10th R&D Autumn Conference 2016 Ravensburg

"Product Innovation in a Connected World"

October 20-21, 2016

Some say it's all hype, many have security or privacy fears, but there's no disputing that the potential is huge. The extension of internet access, from computers and smartphones just a few years ago to a seemingly endless variety of everyday objects today, opens up product and service opportunities to innovation managers, business developers and R&D directors, and offers to create a rich flow of hitherto inaccessible data for marketing, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and utilities. The idea of connecting objects through the internet has been in people's mind for a long time - what we see today is an explosion of new applications in various markets, as all the necessary factors (affordable hardware, very low power communications, and ubiquitous connectivity) come together. The 10th R&D Autumn Conference took place at Ravensburger Spiele in Southern Germany. As always, one of the most important elements was the interaction between the participants: meeting peers, exchanging ideas and sharing best practices in product innovation. Not to forget another relevant aspect in a fast moving business world: the extension of one's own business network - not digitally, but the old-fashioned way: personally, on-site, face-to-face. At the end of the conference the participants had the opportunity to take a closer look at the production and the logistics at Ravenburger - impressive to see millions of puzzle pieces produced and sent into all over the world.

Participants: Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology SA), David Griffin (42 Technology Ltd), Peter Meißnitzer (Papertronic GmbH), Gernot Liebhard (Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG), Erwin Feldhaus (Röder Präzision), Clemens Türck (Ravensburger Spieleverlag), Heiko Roßkamp (Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG), Alex Breton (PrintDreams International AB), Friedemann Taut (Taut Science & Service Ltd). Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi A/S), Patrick Betz (Swiss Epilepsy Centre), Marcel Führen (Leader Research & Technology), Thomas Plattner (Kern AG), Alexander Grages (Audi AG), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Marijn Bouwman (B/S/H/ Hausgeräte), Friedrich Eibensteiner (Prelonic Technologies) and, not in the picture, Guido Schroeder.

   9th R&D Autumn Conference 2015 Oberursel

"Product Development in Healthcare and Life Science"

October 8-9, 2015

This year we met in Oberursel close to the Taunus. The focus of the conference was on technology and engineering aspects of the healthcare and life science business. Increasing life expectancy, proliferation of chronic diseases, rising expectations in lifestyle, and an aspiring middle class in emerging countries, create new market opportunities that can be met by technological advancements and product innovation. On the other hand, reduced public funding, soaring regulatory requirements, and increased competition all lead to cost pressure and reduced margins. At the conference various experts from this industry sector exchanged their experience with technologies, processes and tools, we discussed daily challenges to bring innovative products to the market. The participants from various industries found a unique opportunity to broaden their horizons and to extend their networks. The conference will be co-organized by LORENZ Life Sciences Group. LORENZ Life Sciences Group has been developing and marketing software solutions for the Life Sciences market since 1989. LORENZ's solutions are geared specifically for submission assembly, review, publishing, validation and management. LORENZ docuBridge® is the most widely used eCTD submission management system for U.S., European and Japanese formats among many others, and is popular with regulatory agencies and industry alike. With over 400 installations in over 25 countries, LORENZ has a strong worldwide customer base.

Participants: Patrick Betz (Swiss Epilepsy Centre), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi A/S), Sasa Dobrijevic (LORENZ Life Sciences Group), Erwin Feldhaus (Röder Präzision), David Griffin (42 Technology Ltd), Christian Kaas (LORENZ Life Sciences Group), Uwe Katzer (Procter & Gamble Service GmbH), Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology SA), Gero Lüben (Ingasol GmbH), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Thomas Plattner (Kern AG), Guido Schroeder (Splunk Inc), Manuel Stein (LORENZ Life Sciences Group), Friedemann Taut (Taut Science & Service Ltd).

   8th R&D Autumn Conference 2014 Solothurn

"Challenging High Performance Organisations"

September 25-26, 2014

The 8th R&D Autumn Conference took place at the Ramada Hotel in Solothurn. The keynote speaker, Michael Nüssli from Carbagas (Air Liquide-Group), impressed the audience by an engaged talk about the fascinating world of industry gases. After a brief introduction to the world of industrial gases and their use in medical, industrial and environmental processes, Michael elaborated on the Air Liquide group as the world's key player in this market. In particular the group's fundamental business model was explained and analysed. Based on the personal experience of an employee, three examples were presented to show how the group deals with the challenges of a transforming world: 1. The globalised market requesting homogenous offerings. 2. Specific challenges a western company faces when entering in the fast expanding Chinese market. 3. How the gas industry has to adapt and leverage new opportunities in mature markets. The factory tour during the morning of the second day was be two-fold: the group started at the Air Liquide factory in Utzenstorf to have a closer look at an Air Separation Unit splitting the air into N2, O2 and Ar. Afterwards the participants visited the Steelworks Stahl-Gerlafingen close-by, the former von-Roll factory, now a part of the Italian Bertrame Group. During this visit the impact of oxygen in the melting process of scrap was shown, an impressive procedure, not many of the participants have seen before.

© Image: Carbagas

Top row: Beat Haefeli (Carbagas AG), Jörg Bialowons (Bialowons GmbH), Miachel Nüssli (Carbagas AG), Jon Spratley (42 Technology), Thomas Plattner (Kern AG), Ute Estor (Projekt- und Prozess-Management). Bottom row: Alex Breton (PaperDNA AG), Friedemann Taut (Taut Science and Service), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology).

   7th R&D Autumn Conference 2013 Geneva

"Agile Methodologies in Product Development"

September 26-27, 2013

Agile methodologies in product development have become increasingly popular in organisations. What seems at first to be unorganised, chaotic and non-committal, turns out to be an efficient tool for many teams. And management has to learn new rules: there is no detailed comprehensive planning, no exact figures regarding effort and timing from the start, and no intervention from management within committed development cycles. During the conference various experts talked about the basics of agile project management and discussed the pitfalls during the implementation phase of this methodology. This year's factory tour took place at Metrolab Technology SA in Geneva. Philip Keller gave the audience an impressive overview about the physics of magnetic fields and the principles to measure them.

© Image: 42 Technology, Braun

Top row: Jon Spratley (42 Technology), Heinz Ruffieux (On Demand Management), Uwe Katzer (Braun), Hansjörg Klock (Glory Global Solutions), Thomas Plattner (Kern), Marcel Führen (Kaba), Harald Baron (Mettler Toledo), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi). Bottom row: Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology), Andreas Stang (Process and Quality Management), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology). Not on the picture: Philipp Boulanger (Neopost SA).

   6th R&D Autumn Conference 2012 Eichenberg

"Efficiency in R&D - Improving Collaboration Within the Organisation"

October 18-19, 2012

To increase the efficiency of an R&D organisation, it can be helpful to take a look at the relationship to adjacent functions in the company as well: marketing, sales, procurement, production, quality, innovation. During the conference, experienced managers form different companies gave insights into some of their challenges and solutions regarding this topic. This year's factory tour took place at Diehl Controls in Wangen. Ulrich Frank and Thomas Kühefuß presented an impressive case study of one of their core businesses: renewable energies.

© Image: Diehl Controls, Lorenz

Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology), Christian Kaas (Lorenz Life Sciences Group), Ulrich Frank (Diehl Controls), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Joachim Lyszus and Thomas Kühefuß (beide Diehl Controls), Vincent Franceschini (Hitachi Data Systems), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi A/S), Jon Spratley (42 Technology), Hansjörg Klock (Talaris). Not on the picture: Rémi Renoux (Neopost SA) and Marcel Führen (Kaba AG).

   5th R&D Autumn Conference 2011 Morges

"Creating Blue Oceans"

September 29-30, 2011

The motto of last year's R&D Conference was "Creating Blue Oceans". Friedrich Eibensteiner (Prelonic) und Alex Breton (PrintDreams) elaborated on this topic by presenting two case studies on Printed Electronics and a break-through application using InkJet technology. The second day was devoted to a factory tour at Bobst SA in Lausanne, the leading supplier of equipment and services for the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries.

© Image: 42 Technology, Bobst

Top: Alex Breton (PrintDreams); Middle: Jon Spratley (42 Technology), Vincent Franceschini (Hitachi), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi), Marcel Führen (Ascom), Philip Keller (Metrolab Technology), Stephan Haferl (Comet), Jacques Reymond (Bobst), Joachim Lyszus (Diehl Controls); Bottom: Kai Numssen (Spinner), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Dominique Corpataux (Comet), Klaus Stebinger (Reiner); Not on the picture: Friedrich Eibensteiner (Prelonic)

   4th R&D Autumn Conference 2010 Bad Aibling

"From Innovation Excellence to Business Growth"

October 28-29, 2010

© Image: Spinner GmbH

The participants of the R&D-Conference were impressed both by the technology and the logistics demonstrated at Spinner in Westerham. Top row: Joachim Lyszus, Fritz Albicker (Diehl Controls), Marcel Führen (Ascom), Anders Christensen (AVK Gummi), Dieter Klein (Saint Gobain), Jon Spratley (42 Technology), Andreas Wagner (WA-Consult); Bottom: Christoph Neumaier, Martin Lorenz, Kai Numssen (Spinner), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Jörn Schimmel (Spinner)

   3rd R&D Autumn Conference 2009 Neuchatel

"Innovation in Times of Crisis"

October 22-23, 2009

© Image: Philip Morris

At the end of the factory tour through the production of Philip Morris in Neuchâtel the participants of the R&D-Conference met for an aperitif: Hansjörg Klock (Talaris), Philippe Schneider (Firmenich), Martin Paping (Kontrapunkt Technology), Dave Wilson (42 Technology), Kai Numssen (Spinner) and host Michel Delabays (Philip Morris). Not shown on the picture is Werner Haag (Comet).

   2nd R&D Autumn Conference 2008 Lugano

"Strategies for Open Innovation"

September 25-26, 2008

   1st R&D Autumn Conference 2007 Konstanz

"Sharing Best Practices in International R&D Management"

September 20-21, 2007