German software company SAP has announced plans to employ more autistic people in a bid to drive innovation.

By 2020 the company plans for the autistic contingent of their employees to account for one per cent of their workforce, which numbers 65,000.

Executive board member of SAP AG, Human Resources, Luisa Delgado, said: ‘Only by employing people who think differently and spark innovation will SAP be prepared to handle the challenges of the 21st Century.’

The company has had prior success with the recruitment strategy, with an increase in productivity arising from the hiring of six autistic workers in its Bangalore office.

SAP will work with Specialisterne, a company specialising in harnessing the talents of people with autism to work in technology jobs.

Thorkil Sonne, founder of Specialisterne, has described the decision as one that ‘strenghten[s] SAP’s position as a global leader in innovation’.

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