All about the inventor of thin-layer drainage

Gutjahr wins award as one of the top 100 companies in the field of innovation

It's impossible to imagine safe and beautiful balconies, patios and outside steps without Gutjahr products. For years, designers, installers and specialist dealers have been working successfully with these innovative system solutions – even on complex substrates and in difficult installation conditions. Now this medium-sized company has gained another award for its progressive ideas: as one of the top 100 companies for innovation. Gutjahr managing director Ralph Johann accepted the award from TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar. For Gutjahr, this is no less than the fourth award in the last twelve months. 

For the award, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Vienna University of Economics and Business examined the innovation management of medium-sized companies in Germany. The "Top 100" award goes to companies who can show an excellent spirit of innovation and model innovation procedures, successfully bridging the gap between initial idea and market success. And Gutjahr has proved again and again that ideas can be successfully nurtured for the market. 

Strong innovative products
There are plenty of examples of this innovative strength: Gutjahr is, for instance, the inventor of the capillary passive surface drainage system that is simple to lay and will protect coverings of ceramic tiles and natural stone. A patent for the system was applied for in 1984, and in 2002 it was incorporated into the new technical bulletin for external floor coverings of the German Construction Industry Association (ZDB) – making it a standard within the industry.

But Gutjahr products also make new, improved ways of working possible. In 2006, Gutjahr took up a particularly problematic topic: outdoor steps. The company became the first manufacturer to develop a customised solution with AquaDrain SD, involving the simple installation of pre-shaped angled elements. The latest innovation is CeraVent for the tile cladding of façades. Previously it has been a problem, for physical structural reasons, to have wall coverings adhering directly, but now the new ventilation and uncoupling system is opening up extensive design opportunities for architects and builders – right up to tower block height. 

Systematic success
For more than 20 years, Gutjahr systems technology has represented new, innovative ideas. For this company from Hessen, Germany, there's no such thing as "can't be done." Problems are examined from all sides – and then solved. "Ideas and solutions are created in the team. That's what we support in the company, just as we do in exchanging ideas with our partners, the users of our products," says managing director Ralph Johann. The result is genuine innovation, supporting the trade in solving problems for their customers and carrying out long-lasting work that keeps its value. 

The founder and managing director, Walter Gutjahr, considers the "Top Innovator" award to be recognition for the whole team. "Thanks to the commitment and the loyalty of our employees, we are able to offer innovative solutions to support our customers in their work," he says. "That is what makes our success." This is also shown by other awards won by the company for its products over the last twelve months, which include two "Product of the Year" awards.