atene KOM GmbH has been awarded the TOP 100 Seal 2021, one of the most important awards for future-oriented innovation management. This prize – in its 28th year – is awarded annually to notably innovative medium-sized companies. atene KOM has previously proven its innovative strength in a scientific selection process.

On behalf of compamedia, the organiser of the TOP 100 innovation competition, innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and his team examined the innovative strength of atene KOM. The researchers applied around 120 test criteria from five categories:

  • Innovation-friendly Senior Management
  • Climate of Innovation
  • Innovative Processes/Organisation
  • Outward looking/Open Innovation
  • Successful Innovations

The innovative strength of atene KOM is demonstrated above all by the large number of projects that the company initiates, develops and implements in various areas: from special district heating projects and energy efficiency models at schools, to state-of-the-art hydrogen technology, broadband infrastructure and the digitalisation of administration. The innovative power of atene KOM is also visible through more than 1,500 network partners throughout Europe, as well as worldwide partnerships.

Tim Brauckmüller, managing director of atene KOM GmbH, emphasises the special significance of the award: “The Innovation Award encourages us in our multifaceted activities, because all our products, services and projects build on the great opportunities of the future. Developing and promoting innovation is the core business of our company. atene KOM always looks to the future and deals with business areas that no one is thinking about today, but which will be indispensable for entire industries and societies tomorrow.”

In the selection process for the TOP 100 seal, the well-founded scientific analysis does not focus on individual innovations of a company. The core question is whether those innovations are the result of a planned approach or a product of chance – in other words, it is primarily about the repeatability of innovative achievements. In addition, the study examines whether and how the corresponding solutions establish themselves on the market. Due to the current pandemic situation, there was also a special section this year in which the entrepreneurial reaction to the Corona crisis was examined.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, the scientific director of TOP 100, is impressed by the award-winning medium-sized companies. “The TOP 100 companies have consistently focused towards being as innovative as possible.”, he notes.

On 26 November, all award winners of the current TOP 100 year will come together at the 7th German SME Summit in Ludwigsburg to receive their congratulations from Ranga Yogeshwar. The science journalist has accompanied the innovation competition as a mentor for ten years. In addition, a high-ranking jury of scientists, entrepreneurs, experienced founders, experts and politicians selects the “Innovator of the Year” from among the three best companies in each size category (A, B, C). With over 200 dedicated employees, atene KOM is already one of the most innovative medium-sized companies in category C (medium-sized companies with the most employees).


compamedia has been awarding since 1993 the TOP 100 seal for special innovative strength and above-average innovation success to medium-sized companies. Originally, the owner and managing director of the company Joachim Schuble initiated the competition on a regional level. However, due to the positive response, the project developed into a nationwide award.

Since 2002 the scientific management has been in the hands of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke. Franke is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. With 25 research awards and over 200 publications, he is one of the leading innovation researchers internationally. The project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the SME association BVMW.