Leading through innovation Bosch CEO Denner urges vigilance of new trends Europe's leading position not set in stone

  • China sees significant increase in patent applications
  • Innovation and creativity are prerequisite for prosperity in Germany and Europe
  • Linking the real and virtual worlds enables new business models and products
Add to my press materials
Save text
  • May 17, 2013
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

Stuttgart – At a panel discussion on Thursday evening in Stuttgart on the topic of “leading through innovation,” Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, urged Europe to step up innovation in order to retain its leading edge. “Our leading position is not set in stone.” For example, a decade ago China registered 80,000 patents, while Europe registered 160,000. Since then, the number in Europe has risen to 260,000; in China, however, it has reached 650,000 – more than double the number in Europe. According to Denner, it is crucial to remain vigilant of these trends and not be satisfied with past achievements. “Innovation and creativity are necessary to maintain and increase our prosperity. Indispensable elements of this are education, research and development, as well as a new startup culture.”

Connectivity a vital factor in success
Above all, Denner sees connectivity over the internet of things and services as a pioneering development. “In a few years, every electronic product will be internet-capable. The question is no longer if, but when,” Denner said. “If we fail to comprehensively network our machines and facilities, I believe we will jeopardize Germany's position as an industrial hub.” At the same time, Denner emphasized the opportunities that are resulting from new business models and products in the realm of connectivity, such as the preventative diagnosis and remote maintenance of machines over the internet, or automated driving. In the future, even heating systems will know the weather forecast, and will be able to regulate the temperature in homes accordingly. Denner is convinced that this connectivity will trigger a flood of innovations. “The only way we can protect our existing business and remain fit for the future is by having new ideas. Connectivity will literally revolutionize many areas.”

New products for mature markets in Europe
Denner also urged his audience to take advantage of growth opportunities in emerging markets. At the same time, he said, it is important to develop products for mature, wealthy, yet slow-growing markets such as Europe. Here, innovation and creativity are particularly needed. All companies must rise to this challenge, not only Bosch.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI8136 - May 17, 2013

Your contact person for journalists

René Ziegler

+49 711 811-7639 Send Email

Share this information