solutions 2/2008 – Additional informations

Dr. Roland Langfeld, head of SCHOTT Research and Technology Development at SCHOTT AG Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
”We help drive the whole Group”

Three questions to Dr. Roland Langfeld, head of Research and Technology Development at SCHOTT

solutions: How does an idea actually become an innovation?

Langfeld: The trick is to come up with the combination of a broad collection of ideas for evaluation and follow up by carefully selecting the ideas that promise to be successful. Here, we abide by a clearly structured innovation process that follows a strict step-by-step plan. This is really the only way that we can be successful and act quickly enough in order to ­remain one step ahead of our ­international competition.

solutions: What is your assessment of the advantages of centralized research and technology development for the future of SCHOTT?

Langfeld: We bundle technological expertise to be able to develop materials, for instance, and, thus, achieve the critical mass we need to be of benefit to the Group. We then develop ideas and approaches and identify and evaluate new trends based on this. In this respect, we definitely drive the entire Group. On the operational side, we work together with the Business Units to manage the ­development of new products and processes and perform trouble shooting.

solutions: What do you feel makes SCHOTT an attractive ­employer for top researchers?

Langfeld: Our broad diversity with respect to areas of appli- cation is certainly appealing. This ranges from high-perfor- mance materials and components for the opto-electronic and pharmaceutical industry to household appliances and renewable energy sources. Researchers also get to experience execution first hand. Our international network and close cooperation with the Business Units opens up career opportunities all over the world. And, in ­addition to offering a management career, we also offer a career path for researchers.