November 30, 2015

A story of innovation and inspiration

At W. L. Gore & Associates, we strive to create products that allow you to concentrate fully on your performance.

It starts with Research and Development. We devise concepts to make life easier for runners and cyclists in any weather condition. At the heart of this process are Johannes Ebert and Thomas Weiss.

Johannes is a Product Specialist within our Gore Fabrics division. His primary focus is to drive development of new GORE-TEX® laminate innovations.

Thomas is Product Manager within the GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® team. His focus is to implement technical fabric innovation coming from Johannes and turn it into the cycling and running apparel you own and love. This includes strong collaboration with our design and product development teams making sure all products meet our customers’ needs and expectations.

During this special interview they share their experience, inspiration as well as indulging in a bit of future gazing!

Johannes (left) and Thomas

Everybody at Gore is very passionate about their work. What motivates you to be innovative?

Johannes: Having spent a lot of time biking in mountains, I have been exposed to situations where my apparel was key to optimising my performance. My inspiration comes from many things: the fashion world, engineers and nature. GORE-TEX® products combine all of these and have achieved huge success doing so. But I still believe we can make the products even better and drive customer satisfaction to its highest possible level. That’s my motivation.

Thomas: I love sports and working with passionate and talented people. But I’m driven by the motivation to improve the consumers’ experience with our products and strive for a “WOW” in every product.

How long does a piece of GORE BIKE WEAR®/GORE RUNNING WEAR®, take to produce, from the original concept to purchasing?

Thomas: Our standard process, from innovation to offering a final cycling and running garment in the market, is around 12 months. However, depending on the magnitude of the innovation, it could take up to 2-3 years!

Johannes: From a fabric perspective, we are experiencing a very broad range of development time for new GORE-TEX® laminates, say 2 to 10 years. Even when we feel closer to the ultimate goal, we continue pushing ourselves to make the product better.
A unique, upcoming product went through a very complex product development and there were multiple tests over many years. Now that we have achieved this, we feel proud to offer a new level of comfort AND protection for runners and road cyclists.

One of your brand promises is: Our products do what we say they will do. How do you live up to this statement?

Thomas: Over the years, the R&D team have developed and executed tests that reflect what a user wants with a product, as well as highlighting areas for improvement. Prototypes are exposed to strong, demanding athletes in order to get real-life feedback for this exact reason.

Johannes: Our whole organisation is built around long term thinking and that only by creating the highest quality products we can build the business further. We make sure our marketing claims and promises are fulfilled. By running extended lab testing, we ensure that only the very best ingredients and workmanships are used. To guarantee quality, we do field testing with active runners and cyclists even before we start the “normal development process”.

Tune in next week when Johannes and Thomas will reveal the next big thing in product innovation, coming soon!

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