Business/economy

Connecting people, knowledge, and systems Address by Dr. rer. nat. Volkmar Denner,
chairman of the board of management
of Robert Bosch GmbH

at the foundation-stone ceremony for the
Renningen research center, September 27, 2012

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  • September 27, 2012
  • Business/economy
  • Presentations

press release

Mr Minister-President Kretschmann,
Mr. Bernhard,
Mayor Faisst,
Mr. Fehrenbach,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to be able to welcome you to the site of our new corporate research center in Renningen. Thank you for joining our celebrations today. For us at Bosch this is a special moment – a milestone in the history of our company.

Today in Renningen we’re laying the foundation stone for a research center which will be the incubator for the innovations that will shape the future of our company. As you can see, we have great expectations where Renningen is concerned, and as a result we already feel strong ties with this new location.

Over the past 20 years, our company has invested approximately 50 billion euros in research and development. This year alone, we’ll likely spend 4.6 billion euros for the development and exploration of new systems, components, technologies, and products. Currently, 41,000 of our associates are involved in such work at 86 locations worldwide.

At Bosch, we have always been motivated by the search for ever better technological solutions and fresh approaches that will help tackle the great challenges of the age.

In the words of our company founder, Robert Bosch: “Technology should have the capability to help the whole of mankind make the best of their lives and find happiness in life.” We have incorporated this idea into our strategic imperative “Invented for life.” These three words guide our work at Bosch and motivate us to find solutions to even the most complex technological problems.

Robert Bosch also said: “We should all strive to improve on the status quo: none of us should ever be satisfied with what they have achieved, but should always endeavor to get better.” For us, these two ideas are not only part of our founder’s legacy, they also actively inspire us.

As Mr. Dieterich mentioned earlier, what we want to do here in Renningen is to find new ways of linking and interconnecting people and their knowledge. This is not just about Bosch associates networking among themselves. It is far more than that: we also believe that the cultivation of strong networks with universities and other businesses will be crucial to maintaining our leading position in many of the world’s markets.

The interconnectedness that we strive for here in Renningen also stands as a perfect example for the development we expect in the coming years, in technological, economic and also social respects. We hold the view that we stand at the threshold of a turning point in history, if not a new industrial revolution. The rapid development of software and semiconductor technology has already enabled us access to almost unlimited quantities of data regardless of where we are.

But this is only the beginning. In the future, not only people will make use of the almost unlimited possibilities for data exchange. Over the next few years, increasing numbers of devices and systems will communicate with each other without any human input, as part of the “internet of things and services.” Ten years from now, according to current predictions, 50 billion devices and systems will be exchanging data with one another. And behind them there will be a multitude of new business models forming a network of highly diverse services, whose scope and capabilities we can at best speculate on today. There are of course tremendous opportunities for growth here, that we at Bosch also want to use.

You understand now why we’ve given our project here in Renningen the slogan “networked for millions of ideas.”

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario. You have rented an electric car and input your destination. You will then be able to automatically reserve a charge spot, which itself will independently calculate the electricity used. And on the way there, you will be able to view individually tailored offers from local businesses on your navigation device. Utility companies, car rental, retail stores… even this limited example shows how different business models that today have very little to do with one another will work together in the future, for example in the mobility marketplace.

Mobility, buildings, power supply, and much more: we at Bosch have our eye on a whole range of dynamic marketplaces around the globe. For our company, this means that we must increasingly think in terms of connectivity.

Our individual divisions will be able to maintain their successful positions only if they look beyond their current horizons and keep an eye out for new business models and markets. We’re well supported here by our expertise in different industries and on all continents. A further advantage is the diversity of our company, with its more than 300,000 highly skilled associates.

These highly motivated associates create the technical conditions for solving the great challenges of our age, in line with our imperative “Invented for life.” With this new research center, Bosch wants to create attractive workplaces and a stimulating environment in which creativity and collaboration can flourish.

The “eCall” system is a recent example of this. As a result of the collaboration between our Chassis Control, Car Multimedia, and Security Systems divisions on the one hand, and our customer Mercedes-Benz on the other, a system has been developed that automatically alerts a Bosch control center in the case of an accident. The European Commission even wants to make the eCall system mandatory. In Brussels, they estimate that by alerting emergency services more quickly, eCall could lead to more than 2,500 lives being saved each year. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we at Bosch mean by “Invented for life”!

But choosing Renningen as a location is also a clear acknowledgment of our commitment to Germany and in particular to Baden-Württemberg. Our roots are here, and it’s from here that we want many of our successful future products to originate.

Mr. Minister-President, we see your presence here today as a sign that you recognize our commitment to Baden-Württemberg. This is very gratifying for us. I would like to thank you most sincerely for taking the time to be here on this important day.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. Binninger and Mr. Faisst, who are here as representatives of the Renningen municipal administration. They have assisted us greatly at both the local and federal levels. Without their commitment, we would surely not be standing here today. And I can assure you, we at Bosch strive for a strong and harmonious relationship with the citizens of this region.

To these words of thanks, I would like to add my hope that a good solution for the armed forces will soon be found. Just as we at Bosch need a clear basis for planning and development in order to be able to complete our work successfully, so do they.

Ladies and gentlemen, a new location like the one we plan here in Renningen can only come about as the result of a joint effort between politicians and business leaders. That has become very clear during the first construction phase. And it will also hold true once the building is in use. For without a functioning infrastructure, capable universities, and the common will to doggedly pursue new paths, a new research center like this would become like a cathedral in the desert – magnificently built and quickly forgotten.

Let us therefore not waver in our joint efforts, and let us steadfastly continue our work on this ambitious project. In doing so, we will be laying a solid foundation for future success – both for Bosch, and for the people of this region.

Mr. Minister-President, it is a tremendous honor to have you here today. We would be delighted if you would say a few words.

Thank you.

 Press release PI7916
 Vita Dr. Volkmar Denner
Press images

 Further information is available here

RF00177 - September 27, 2012

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