Business/economy

Research has always been a cornerstone of the company’s success Fifty years ago, Bosch founded its first institute for basic research 26 associates studied semiconductor circuits in Berlin

  • Semiconductor circuit research started 50 years ago
  • Today, Bosch is global market leader for MEMS sensors
  • From 2,600 R&D associates to 45,600
  • New research campus in Renningen, near Stuttgart
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  • March 31, 2015
  • Business/economy
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press release

Stuttgart – Milestone anniversary at Bosch: exactly 50 years ago, the supplier of technology and services established its first institute for basic research. The Forschungsinstitut Berlin (FIB) opened its doors on April 1, 1965. At the time, 26 associates were tasked with basic research into semiconductor circuits, which today play a leading role in many fields at Bosch. The FIB’s official sphere of activity was studying “the physical and chemical principles of interfaces as well as thin films and surfaces.” The Berlin-based institute’s staff accounted for just one percent of the roughly 2,600 associates who worked in research and development at Bosch at the time. Until then, production-related development had been the main pillar of engineering at Bosch.

Today’s global leader in MEMS sensors
The developments introduced by the FIB research center changed Bosch forever and provided key inspiration for many modern products and technologies. Today, Bosch is the world’s leading supplier of micromechanical sensors (MEMS sensors, microelectromechanical systems). The company has produced more than five billion of these components, which are also made from semiconductor material. MEMS sensors can recognize the slightest movement and acceleration, for example. Such sensors can be found in driver assistance systems, smartphones, and fitness trackers. Other MEMS sensors optimize the air-fuel mix in engines to help reduce fuel consumption and ensure clean exhaust emissions.

Five billion euros for research
Innovation continues to play a pivotal role in the success of the Bosch Group to this day. The company currently employs around 45,600 associates in research and development, roughly 1,300 of whom work in corporate advance engineering. Around the world, associates are developing not only new products, but also new manufacturing processes, materials, and software. This approach has resulted in a number of developments, including a process for drilling extremely tiny holes in the hardest of metals that won Bosch and its partners Trumpf and the University of Jena the German Future Prize in 2013. Bosch invested almost five billion euros in research and development in 2014, or around ten percent of its sales. More than 90 development sites are located worldwide. Bosch applied for around 4,600 patents last year alone.

New research campus in Renningen
Some 1,200 associates from corporate research and advance engineering are currently moving to a new research campus in Renningen, just outside of Stuttgart. Bosch is investing around 310 million euros in the new hub of the company’s global engineering activities. The associates there will research new materials, methods, and technologies, and develop new systems, components, and manufacturing processes. Renningen also offers space for an additional 500 students and interns. The official opening of the new research campus is scheduled for this fall.

The FIB research center in Berlin no longer exists today. It was merged into the Technical Research Center in the 1970s, which became part of the advance engineering and engineering coordination corporate sector in 1980. The research center was closed and integrated into the institutes that preceded Bosch’s current corporate research and advance engineering in the 1990s.

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.

PI8876 - March 31, 2015

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