Business/economy

Connectivity megatrend Bosch CEO Denner: seizing opportunities presented by digital networking together Collaborations on joint innovations

  • Digitalization of daily life is also generating business for small and medium-sized companies
  • Networking changes the competitive landscape
  • A dynamic world needs a new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too
  • Politics must be “open to technology”
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  • January 16, 2014
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases
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press release

Reutlingen – German companies need to work together to seize the opportunities and possibilities presented by networking over the internet. These were the words of Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at a gathering of industry representatives in Reutlingen. He went on to say how important it is to work together in both interdisciplinary and cross-sector ways, and that collaborations between companies with complementary know-how are a major driver of the connectivity trend. Bosch, for example, is working with ABB, Cisco, and LG to develop a software platform for the smart home. The networking of industrial production also holds out the promise of joint innovations and joint successes.

Digital networking: Seizing opportunities together
Denner stressed that the opportunities presented by the trend of connectivity are not reserved for major international corporations. “We all need to get a handle on these opportunities – in industry, trade, the service sector, and skilled trades. And we need to go about it in a more ‘connected’ way.” Denner challenged the 750 guests in the audience to take a chance on something new more often – perhaps even together. “Our goal must be to develop new products and new business models that enhance the quality of life.” Digital networking offers undreamed-of technological possibilities, he went on. The economic order and the competitive landscape will also increasingly be subject to change.

A new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too
According to Denner, the connected world is a highly volatile and dynamic one, and the task for entrepreneurs is to actively shape this world and make the most of the opportunities it presents. At the same time, external changes are demanding a more dynamic process of development within companies. “What we need is a new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too. We need entrepreneurs who dare to sail uncharted waters, who aren’t put off by the risk of failing from time to time, and who have the experience to limit the fallout from any setbacks.” When Bosch enters new and generally highly dynamic markets, it does so with units that are small, agile, and independent. One recent example is the company it has founded to cater to the internet of things and services. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH develops and sells networked end-user devices as well as solutions based on them.

A task for politics: openness to technology
Denner wants policymakers to support the development of technology across the board. “Politicians should avoid backing certain technologies over others, as it is becoming less and less clear which technologies will ultimately win out and prove successful.” Denner had words of praise for the German government’s aim of expanding its high-tech strategy to become an interdepartmental strategy to support innovation. “What’s important now is to see these policies fleshed out. We need a little less bureaucracy and a little more dialog and collaboration between science and business, as well as a more flexible way to award funding.” In Denner’s view, the primary role for politics is to create a climate of openness to issues of relevance to the future.

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 www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8417 - January 16, 2014

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