Platform for future-oriented security technologies
RUAG enhances its service portfolio. In addition to our role as a life-cycle partner of the Swiss armed forces and innovation and technology partner of the Swiss security organizations, we are developing and establishing a platform for security-relevant problems and solutions.
As a company with a demanding mission, technological innovations are of great strategic importance to us. We are committed to providing answers to both existing and new challenges. Our goal is to become an integrated service provider and agile technology partner for the sovereign security of Switzerland. The RUAG Innovation Organization (RIO) is where all innovative ideas and products come together. RIO primarily deals with technological innovations and supports RUAG with winning new customers, developing alternative business models, also together with partners, and establishing itself in further markets.
Innovation enables us to continue to comprehensively fulfill our performance mandate in the future. It is about looking at future technologies and identifying trends. Among other things, we use the KICKBOX intrapreneurship program, the RUAG Innovation Forum or the RUAG Accelerator program as well as the exchange with employees, startups and universities, to do this.
The idea of KICKBOX is to promote employees’ innovative business ideas with budget, working time and internal coaching. In this way, we involve our employees even more closely and encourage them to contribute their own new ideas, which they develop in a three-stage process up to the business case. If it becomes evident that an idea is not well thought out, we learn this early on, reduce our expenses and increase the chances of success for future projects. More than 100 ideas have already been submitted. With the RUAG Innovation Forum, we offer an optimal exchange platform. Startups, universities, the industry as well as the Swiss Security Network gain insights into promising ideas and have the opportunity to engage with established players. RUAG also supports startups with the Accelerator program and thus drives innovative solutions that contribute to sovereign Swiss security. This gives the startups exclusive access to the security cluster, its resources and its market. So far, 18 startups and innovative companies benefited from the program.
MADELINE AMREIN, HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION
What does your function as Head of Business Development Innovation at RUAG include?
I put the focus on our customers because even the best technical masterpiece is of no use if no one wants to buy it. My team and I bring a commercial perspective to the agile innovation teams and assess whether profitable new business models are emerging. From the business case to the first commercialization, we coordinate our business development activities with the other departments. This collaboration is decisive for the success of our company.
What distinguishes our innovation organization?
Given that an innovation organization is always close to the latest technologies, it is very attractive for young professionals. Often, the average age is lower than in other organizations. The agile development methods that we apply require that everyone gets actively involved. Different profiles make it possible to look at challenges from different angles and to take a creative approach. This is how new solutions are created and “thinking out of the box” becomes possible in the first place.
That sounds like an exciting job – what particularly appeals to you about it?
I am used to working with challenges arising from the sometimes conflicting relationship between engineering and business administration – and that’s exactly what’s appealing. In the agile, interdisciplinary project teams, creative engineers work hand in hand with commercially oriented business developers. This is where different worlds come together in the most positive way. I really appreciate this dynamic working atmosphere.