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Press release

Berlin, February 5, 2014

ESMT publishes second innovation index for the energy industry

  • EDP, EDF, and RWE lead the ESMT Energy Innovation Index 2012
  • Index examines the 16 major energy suppliers in Europe

ESMT European School of Management and Technology has published its Energy Innovation Index, which examines the innovative power of 16 leading European energy supply companies, for the second time. The bi-annual independent scientific study consists of the three sub-indices research, sustainability, and productivity. Energias de Portugal (EDP), Electricité de France (EDF), and RWE topped the Energy Innovation Index 2012.

The authors of the index, ESMT faculty member Christoph Burger and program director Dr. Jens Weinmann, draw a moderately positive balance of the innovation process in the energy industry between 2010 and 2012. “Despite the difficult economic situation, the R&D budgets increased by three per cent during this time,” comments Christoph Burger, energy expert and managing director of ESMT Customized Solutions. “In many companies, the topic of innovation has grown in importance and has arrived in the boardroom.”

The best-ranked companies are pursuing different innovation strategies. EDF and RWE focus on classical research and development to position themselves as “research leaders” with a strong patent culture. By contrast, EDP, which topped the index, can be characterized as a “dissemination leader”. The company focuses on the implementation of product and process innovation and is particularly successful in applying advances in technology to new business models.

Despite the overall positive picture, Burger and Weinmann warn that, in total, there is too little investment in innovation. “In addition to the very active companies, there is a group of nine ‘hesitants’ that do not set a priority on R&D or innovation,” explains Weinmann. “For these companies, the results of the Energy Innovation Index should serve as a wake-up call.”

Download the complete ESMT Energy Innovation Index 2012:

About ESMT

ESMT European School of Management and Technology was founded in October 2002 by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, a master’s in management as well as open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is based in Berlin, Germany, with an additional campus in Schloss Gracht near Cologne, where USW Netzwerk runs the German-speaking executive education programs of the business school. ESMT is a private business school, accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, and FIBAA.