Thursday, 18th February 2016, Velenje

Gorenje Create Academy brings together businesses and universities to develop innovative products

Gorenje Create Academy brings together businesses and universities to develop innovative products

Gorenje Group presented diplomas to the first generation of graduates of the Gorenje Create Academy – Gorenje's academy for new product development. This is a unique international educational program, a part of the Gorenje Corporate University, designed to encourage innovation at the company and upgrade and extend knowledge and skills for new product development. The program had Gorenje Group working with renowned universities from Ljubljana, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

The Gorenje Create Academy program was introduced last year as a part of the company's in-house Corporate University of Gorenje. In order for the company to acquire the latest theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for the creative process leading to new innovative products, they pooled their efforts with three renowned universities: Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. With such cooperation, Gorenje offers insight into the specific challenges faced by an international corporation in the global markets in a mature industry such as home appliances.

Gorenje Create Academy includes employees from development, design, product management, category management, sales, purchasing, quality, production, and all others involved in the process of new product creation at the Gorenje Group. The contents of the new program are divided into four subsets, following the structure of the innovation funnel to allow acquisition of the latest knowledge on successful new product development and launch in the market.

Education is an important part of Gorenje Group strategy

Gorenje has been developing its educational system through strategic documents for 25 years. The system is based on the principles of a learning organization as the company is aware of the importance of highly educated, skilled, and trained employees and their impact on development, growth, and competitiveness in a challenging and unpredictable international business environment in which it operates. In the new Gorenje Group Strategy 2016 - 2020, investment into employees and human resource development remain among the Group's important business platforms for attaining long-term strategic goals.

International competition can only be faced by employees with solid expert knowledge and leadership skills, who are able to perceive the trends and changes, and who can adapt quickly.

"Today, the world around us is changing faster than ever before, and Gorenje is changing with it. We have become international in several aspects: we are conquering new markets beyond Europe, we operate international manufacturing plants and we have opened competence R&D centres in four countries, and over 40 percent of our employees are employed abroad. Our goals are ambitious. All this requires a step forward. We have to make sure that our corporate culture permeates the entire Group and its operations, and that the knowledge of our employees is evenly furthered. With the Gorenje Create Academy program, we are not only setting a new milestone in in-house training and education; we are also laying down solid foundations for attainment of our current and future strategic goals," said Gorenje president and CEO Franjo Bobinac.

Chancellor of the University of Ljubljana, Dr Ivan Svetlik emphasized the importance of the cooperation at Gorenje Create Academy for the University of Ljubljana in making sure the knowledge generated at the University is distributed to the users through a number of channels as quickly as possible; to make sure it is distilled into useful and marketable ideas. "Gorenje Create Academy does a lot for us at University as we take this path as well. Taking the cue from top universities around the globe, we are sure this is what we have to do to see that a public university also serves the purpose for which it was created: to serve its environment as well as businesses. In this case, knowledge is circulating between the academic and business sphere, as well as on an international scale; both aspects are very important for the University. Not only corporations like Gorenje – universities, too, have to extend their reach internationally, and this is another reason why this was a precious experience for us."

For Gorenje Group employees education is a career-long process

Last year, 76 percent of all company employees took part in educational programs and Gorenje allocates around one million euros for education each year.

Instant responsiveness, openness to changes and ability to adapt will allow further growth, competitiveness, and sustainable development for the company. Carefully developed and executed training and education programs for our employees support the efforts of Gorenje Group companies to attain business excellence.