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On a par with Google and Amazon: EU distinguishes Fiege as an Open Innovation Challenger

Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars annual ranking by the European Commission

Brussels, Greven, 5. December 2018. Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), an initiative by the European Commission, has distinguished Fiege as an Open Innovation Challenger. 24 corporate partners are listed in this annual ranking, including multinationals like Amazon, Dell or Google. Two other German companies have been listed next to Fiege, namely Deutsche Bahn AG and SAP.

“It is a very special honour to be included in the same line-up of such renowned enterprises”, says Andreas Pott, who as the Director Corporate Development has been driving Innovation at Fiege. “Our cooperation with start-ups has proven to add enormous value to our company. It makes us question our own process flows and thinking. On the other hand, Fiege has reinvented itself multiple times before as a business and therefore has a treasure trove of experience which we are happy to share with young start-ups.” Pott represented Fiege during the event held in Brussels at the end of November.

Co-operation with start-ups mutually beneficial

This year Jyrki Tapani Katainen, the European Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investments and Competitiveness, presented the awards to the Corporate Startup Stars and shared his experience during a keynote address. Members of the selection committee which included Bindi Karia, Candace Johnson and Isidro Laso Ballesteros, also participated in the ceremony.

“Collaboration between established companies and start-ups can bring tremendous benefits to both. Start-ups have the opportunity to access resources and market insight to help them scale up, while such a collaboration can become a strong driver of innovation for the established business – and can bring about even more subtle advantages like cultural change”, commented Vice President Katainen. “However, it is hard to get it right. We believe that the organisations doing this well should be recognised as trailblazers, and hope that they inspire others.”

Research on Open Innovation in Europe

“Expectations and the potential are crucial to Open Innovation and corporate start-up collaboration”, added Alberto Onetti, Chairman Mind the Bridge and co-ordinator of Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), who moderated the award ceremony. “But a lack of the real understanding of the term is a key barrier to adoption. That’s why we decided to recognise the companies that are active in this area. Showcasing concrete cases and results is worth a thousand buzzwords.”

Next to the awards ceremony, Mind the Bridge and Nesta have published new research titled The Status of Open Innovation in Europe. This report contains data from the top 36 companies that have been recognised in Europe as active open innovation organisations. According to the research, European companies spend less on innovation than their competitors. In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards open innovation, especially in high-tech industries where collaboration with start-ups is key.

The following 24 companies were distinguished as Open Innovation Challengers: ABB, ACCIONA S.A., Amadeus IT Group, Amazon, Banco Sabadell, BBVA, Cisco, Dell, Deutsche Bahn AG, EDP, Ferrovial, Fiege, Google, LVMH, Nouryon, Qualcomm, Rabobank, RBS, Royal BAM Group, Salesforce, Santander, SAP, Sonae and Virgin.

For the press release on Startup Europe Partnership, click here:


The FIEGE Group, headquartered in Greven in Westphalia (Germany), is one of Europe’s most innovative logistics companies. A workforce of over 23,000 employed at 133 locations based in 16 countries back FIEGE and its international operations in core markets across all of Europe, and all the way to Asia. FIEGE is a fifth-generation family business that is regarded as a pioneer of contract logistics. Its modular solutions in Logistics, Digital Services, Real Estate and Ventures form the essence of its business activities. In 2021, the FIEGE Group generated 1.8 billion euros in turnover while overseeing more than four million square metres of logistics space.