Growth through technology: How Adlershof-based companies develop

31. August 2018

Growth through technology

How Adlershof-based companies develop

Farbanalyse mit Hyperspektralkamera. LLA Instruments. Bild: © Adlershof Journal

Jean-Christophe Olaya, product manager at LLA, on a highly detailed color analysis using the hyperspectral camera

How do Adlershof-based companies grow? Is growth plannable? Is it all about the numbers? We put out our feelers among successful companies on the campus.

The optical measurement technology systems of the Adlershof-based LLA Instruments GmbH are probably unknown to many – they work in the background, that is, in machines for sorting plastics, laboratories and universities. The company’s success story, which will turn 25 next year, is also the quiet type. However, LLA is a leader in the field of near-red spectroscopy and imaging and an Adlershof pioneer: LLA was the first high-tech company to base its headquarters here in 2007. Only seven years later, it added a manufacturing facility for hyperspectral cameras.

But what are the steps a company must take towards solid and sustainable growth? How do we define healthy growth? “Here at LLA, growth is synonymous with our aspiration to perform better than other players on the market. We define growth in terms of innovation and, of course, also of numbers,” says the manager, Annett Lucht. It is key to keep an eye out for new markets and to provide tailor-made technology. Whenever LLA identifies new growth opportunities in fields like pharma, life sciences, food, or research, Annett Lucht and her team will work towards tapping those fields by developing new technological solutions.

For Alexander Laskin, one of the managers at AdlOptica GmbH, the key to solid business development is continuous innovation and vigilance to identify high-growth markets: “We focus on developing new optics, because there is an increasing interest in them.” The laser optics company, which has been based in Adlershof for a long time, has rented a two-room office for its four employees in one of the site’s start-up centres. They received this year’s “Prism Award for Photonics Innovation” at the Photonics West. Awards like these have boosted AdlOptica’s market reputation, particularly in beam shaping optics and multifocal laser optics for scientific as well commercial purposes. “Our growth is incremental. We launch new products that increase our revenues,” says Laskin. A keen eye for detail and a penchant for innovation are at the heart of the small company’s high-quality growth, which can do without bombastic staff numbers and sales figures. “Numbers aren’t everything,” says Laskin.

Lucht shares this view: “One huge advantage that LLA has, is that we offer an ‘unparalleled’ package. What that means is, we don’t just offer the camera, but a full work-ready solution.”

Smart solutions with unique features, intuitive handling and excellent performance are the key components of high-tech growth in Adlershof. However, there is a cap on business expansion: the lack of high-skilled employees. “It is hard to find new staff,” says Laskin, “but it’s not our top priority.” When it is, Laskin can tap other people’s networks for the skills he needs. What was true before, is also true now: numbers alone do not determine healthy growth. The essentials are expertise, good networks and innovative products that are unmatched on the market.

By Chris Löwer for Adlershof Journal


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