It was in 2019 when L&R cooperated for the first time with the Ideenwettbewerb Rheinland-Pfalz® (Rhineland-Palatinate Ideas Competition), which offers all Rhineland-Palatinate residents an annual platform to present their ideas. Here, a jury selects and awards outstanding products, services or processes that are innovative, significantly develop existing ideas or do not yet exist in this form.
L&R supported the Ideenwettbewerb Rheinland-Pfalz® until 2020 as a sponsor and offered the Special Medical Award for the first time in 2020. After the award ceremony could not take place in the previous year due to the pandemic and was organised purely digitally in May 2021, L&R and Dr. Klemens Schulz, Chief Portfolio Officer (CPO), and Dr. Christian Rohrer, Director of the Reasearch & Development Division, now invited the representatives of the Special Medical Award winner "IllumiNati" to the Rengsdorf site. At the
L&R College, the certificate was handed over in a small circle to Prof. Dr Oliver Muensterer (Paediatric Surgery LMU Klinikum Munich) and Andreas Lindner (LMU Munich), in accordance with Covid 19 safety regulations.
IllumiNati: Better illumination during surgery
Behind the exciting name "IllumiNati" can be found a group of instruments that enable the surgeon to better navigate and orientate intraoperatively during open, laparoscopic or endoscopic procedures by means of special illumination and visualisation of tissue. Because: In surgeries that take place deep inside the patient or through a small access, the illumination by the surgical lights, which are mounted above the surgeons, is a challenge. Tissues can only be recognised with difficulty and an exact estimation of length is almost impossible.
IllumiNati is therefore the answer to this shortcoming; even more: with different wavelengths of the LEDs, fluorescent marking is also possible. Moreover, the devices can still be equipped with additional functions, such as suction, urine diversion, gripping or holding function.
Univ. Prof. Dr Oliver Muensterer, Director of Paediatric Surgery at LMU Klinikum München since October 2020 and previously Head of Paediatric Surgery in Mainz:
"With the development of IllumiNati our team wanted to make the work of our colleagues easier. It's not just about better illumination during a surgery, but in a broader sense also about a safer and more precise surgery, a shortening of operating times, a reduction in complication rates and the resulting cost savings."
Andreas Lindner, research associate at the LMU Munich and before that employed at the University Medical Center Mainz:
"IllumiNati is not just a combination of already existing individual devices, but a new concept that enables a surgeon to better find his way around the operating field and thus spare sensitive structures. Such a product does not exist on the market in its entirety or in the combination of functions. We have now been able to apply for a patent for IllumiNati and are very proud that our invention not only won first place in the Ideenwettbewerb Rheinland-Pfalz® for the Mainz Regional Award, but also the Special Medical Award."
Innovation management and promotion at L&R
As a medical device company, L&R is not only a manufacturer of high-quality products and services, but also has its own research and development centres at five sites, including Neuwied.
Dr. Klemens Schulz, as CPO also responsible for Research & Development on the Executive Board:
"We are very pleased to support such a useful invention through the Special Medical Award to IllumiNati as IllumiNati make the work of surgeons easier in many respects. As an internationally active company, we know that we can only continue to be successful if our products and services meet or exceed the needs of our customers or patients. And of course we strive to bring further innovations to the market and have therefore invested massively in research & development in recent years. Among other things, we have built up more than 20 highly qualified employees in this area in the last 5 years and now have a total of more than 100 colleagues.”
Dr. Christian Rohrer, Director of the Research & Development Division at L&R:
"Innovation culture and idea management are fixed parameters of the innovation process at L&R. We are a strong team, our employees are deployed worldwide and generate synergies from our expert knowledge and related disciplines. But: There are many clever and innovative minds outside L&R, especially many users, who, like the IllumiNati team, recognise problems in their work, look for solutions and find them. These partnerships are a real success model for us and have a very high priority in our innovation management, just like cooperations with research institutions or new formats such as participation in start-up challenges".