Wanted: innovative ideas and new applications for a high-precision laser module used for distance measuring
Start-ups to receive a development budget of 25,000 euros, access to a high-tech prototyping workshop, office space, coaches, and mentors
First round of the program set to begin in April 2015
Start-ups can apply until February 27, 2015
Stuttgart – Bosch and UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Munich Technical University (TUM), are launching an accelerator program for start-ups that is based on Bosch technical innovations. The participating start-ups will receive exclusive access to innovative product platforms and professional support. As a result, they will be able to develop potential new products and business models faster than usual. In the past, such access was reserved to established customers. “Cooperation with the TechFounders accelerator program has opened up the possibility to make new Bosch product platforms available to selected start-ups,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “This open innovation approach is an extension of our internal research and development activities.”
Wanted: start-ups with innovative ideas in areas where high-precision laser modules for distance measuring can be applied Bosch is launching the first accelerator program on April 20, 2015, and will be making a high-precision laser module for distance measuring available to the participating start-ups. This Bosch innovation has made it possible to enhance products with information on distance. The Bosch Power Tools division is currently using the technology in room measurement products for professionals and DIY enthusiasts. By cooperating with TechFounders, Bosch stands to gain access to applications in other sectors. For instance, new applications could be developed in areas such as robotics, sporting equipment, automation tools for industry, or gadgets for personal use. This is why Bosch has made the module for distance measuring available as an open development platform and opened up the module’s interfaces.
On offer: professional and financial support Creative start-ups from any industry are invited to apply, provided that they recognize the potential of the technology and aim either to equip their products and technologies with it, or to develop new innovative applications. The start-ups will receive intensive support from TechFounders coaches, as well as from experienced Bosch mentors and entrepreneurs. In addition to this, the teams will be allocated office space and given access to TechShop, a high-tech prototype workshop. Bosch Power Tools will provide the required tools free of charge. Furthermore, start-ups will receive a development budget of 25,000 euros. The UnternehmerTUM program is unique because it does not require the start-ups to offer equity in their companies in exchange for participating. Interested start-ups can apply until February 27, 2015, at www.techfounders.com.
“Many of the innovations made by Bosch’s Power Tools division are not relevant for our market. However, they have the potential to enable solutions in other sectors that could set new standards. Together with TechFounders, we are looking for entrepreneurs that are willing to tackle this challenge,” says Henk Becker, member of the Bosch Power Tools executive management.
Robert Bosch Venture Capital Bosch institutionalized its cooperation with start-ups and young entrepreneurs in 2007 with the founding of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH. The subsidiary finances innovative start-ups that are strategically relevant for Bosch. “We look forward to cooperating with UnternehmerTUM and TechFounders. Over the course of the program, we will support the participating start-ups with our vast experience,” says Dr. Claus Schmidt, managing director of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH.
UnternehmerTUM – Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Munich Technical University (TUM) UnternehmerTUM supports start-ups and established companies in the process of setting up and expanding their businesses as well as with market entry. The UnternehmerTUM fund offers seed capital for promising young technology companies with international market potential. With more than 20 rapidly-growing spin-offs and over 1,000 participants in its training program, UnternehmerTUM plays a leading role in Europe.
TechFounders accelerator program In launching the TechFounders accelerator program, UnternehmerTUM is pooling its strengths. For many years already, it has offered a platform for cooperation between established companies and start-ups, and TechFounders is the latest evolution of this platform. TechFounders offers start-ups access to a high-tech ecosystem, experienced mentors and industrial partners, as well as a development budget of 25,000 euros. Bosch is TechFounders’ second industrial partner, after the BMW Group.
Connecting electromobility and energy storage systems
More than 100 vehicle batteries to stabilize power grid
Storage systems a core element of the move to alternative forms of energy
What to do with valuable batteries once they have reached the end of their life cycle in electric vehicles? A project involving three partners is connecting old batteries in Hamburg to form a large-scale storage system to keep the power grid stable.
Stuttgart – Electromobility and power storage are two core elements of the move to alternative forms of energy. A project is bringing Bosch, the BMW Group, and Vattenfall together to drive progress on both technologies by interconnecting used batteries from electric vehicles to form a large-scale energy storage system in Hamburg. Its energy is available within seconds and can help keep the power grid stable.
Bosch, BMW, and Vattenfall believe in this concept and as a result have launched the Second Life Batteries alliance. BMW is supplying batteries from its ActiveE and i3 electric vehicles, while Vattenfall has agreed to operate the massive storage system at its site for a period of ten years. Bosch is in charge of integrating the batteries and managing the system. The storage solution will become part of an already existing Vattenfall virtual power plant. This allows the partners to combine various small, decentralized power generating systems to market them as a shared power plant.
Still valuable Lithium-ion batteries still have high storage capacity at the end of their life cycle in electric vehicles. As a result, they are still very valuable and can be used extremely efficiently as stationary buffer storage for many years to come. The project allows the three partners to gain numerous new insights into potential areas of application for such batteries, their aging behavior, and their storage capacity. Bosch’s management algorithm is intended to ensure maximum service life and performance as well as other benefits.
The company has already gained its first experiences in the field. In Braderup, located near the German island of Sylt, Bosch has built one of Europe’s largest energy storage systems to temporarily store the energy generated by a wind farm if needed. To do so, the company has connected thousands of small lithium-ion batteries to form a large-scale network. In Kelsterbach, a community close to Frankfurt, Bosch has installed a similar lithium-ion storage system at a housing complex. This knowledge is also making a difference in the Second Life Batteries project.
“The project is important because it combines two strategically significant goals,” says Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, who believes in the future of the electric drive. “In electromobility, we see a future mass market accompanied by many new business models and solutions,” the physicist adds. “Stationary energy storage systems that enable people to continue making good use of used batteries are part of this. Such decentralized storage systems allow us to make a major contribution to a secure power supply.”
Core element of the move to alternative forms of energy Energy storage systems are considered to be a core element of the move to alternative forms of energy. They can absorb solar power during the daytime and release it at night – or secure wind power for moments when the wind is calm. By doing so, they help better integrate the often fluctuating supply of renewable energy into the power grid. Electromobility can also benefit from this development by making it possible to charge vehicles with solar power at night along with a host of other options. In addition, a storage system can supply its energy rapidly to stabilize power grids as part of a virtual power plant, for example.
Two megawatts of capacity The current plans call for the construction of a storage unit with an output of two megawatts (MW) and an installed capacity of two megawatt hours (MWh) in Hamburg. The energy will be fed into the energy balancing market to balance out short-term fluctuations in the power grid. More than 100 vehicle batteries will be interconnected to achieve these targets. The entire system is compact enough to fit in a small building. It provides enough output in mathematical terms to supply 30 four-person households with power for seven days. The partners expect the storage unit to be operational by the end of 2015.
Bosch becomes single-source provider of energy, building automation and security solutions for public, commercial and industrial customers in the US
Combined portfolio meet demands of growing market
Climatec to operate as a largely independent entity
Farmington Hills, MI – Robert Bosch North America Corporation has acquired Climatec, LLC, a leading provider of energy efficiency, building automation, security and life-safety solutions for the U.S. market. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Climatec, LLC generated sales of 170 million dollars (128 million euros) in 2013. According to preliminary figures, Climatec increased its sales in 2014 to about 190 million dollars (143 million euros). The company employs some 670 associates at a total of twelve offices across Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Climatec has been majority-owned by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. since April 2012. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“With the addition of Climatec, we are expanding our global presence especially in the growing North American market, strengthening our portfolio and becoming a comprehensive supplier of solutions in the area of energy, building automation and security services,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “The entrepreneurial spirit, industry expertise, customer focus and shared cultural values that have made Climatec successful are an excellent match for Bosch. Our heating, energy service, security systems, software, sensors and storage technology expertise, combined with the Climatec portfolio, positions Bosch to achieve Energy and Building Technology business sector sales of ten billion dollars (eight billion euros) in 2020.”
“Over its 40-year history, Climatec has established itself as a trusted provider of building comfort, safety and efficiency solutions across nearly all building segments. I was immediately impressed by Bosch’s determination to create an environment that would preserve our business model and customer focus,” said Terry Keenen, president, Climatec, LLC. “I am confident that this acquisition will strengthen our position for sustained growth, benefitting our customers and employees.”
Integrated competencies for a growing market The market for integrated energy services, building automation systems and system integration is growing significantly in the U.S. and around the world. As global energy needs have doubled over the last four decades, customer demand for energy efficiency has increased. And recent years have seen greater demand for comfort, connectivity and security. Rising energy costs, increasingly complex energy systems and a changing regulatory environment foster major growth opportunities in the residential and commercial building sector as well as the services segment.
The Bosch Energy and Building Technology business sector combines several areas of expertise: broad technical systems know-how in video surveillance systems, intrusion and fire detection, access control, alarms, evacuation and public address systems, professional audio and conference systems, as well as water heating and comfort heating systems. As the global market leader in microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), Bosch offers software and sensor technology for internet of things connectivity. The company also offers services for energy management, remote monitoring, and the handling of business processes.
Climatec is recognized in the building industry as an independent single-source integrator of critical building systems including energy services, building automation and security system integration in the U.S. market. The company provides consulting, planning, implementation and 24/7 remote management of comprehensive comfort, security, safety and efficiency solutions. Climatec is active in several market segments and industries including education, healthcare, the public sector, industrial/manufacturing, computing services, office buildings, federal, state and local government, hospitality and energy.
Combining these strengths, Bosch can now offer customers a complete portfolio of networked and efficient energy, building automation and security solutions.
Climatec continues as largely independent entity Climatec will operate as a largely independent entity, maintaining its offices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Operations will continue to be run by the same management team. Climatec will continue to represent and integrate numerous leading manufactures’ product lines across its wide range of services, including Bosch products. As before, the Bosch Security Systems division, Fairport, NY, will continue to sell their security and safety products in the North American market through leading distributors and system integrators.
About Bosch In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket solutions, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. Having established a regional presence in 1906, Bosch employs 24,600 associates in more than 100 locations, with consolidated sales of $10.4 billion in 2013. For more information, visit www.boschusa.com, www.bosch.com.mx and www.bosch.ca.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros ($61.2 billion). 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 more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch invested some 4.5 billion euros ($6.0 billion) in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.” Additional information on the global organization is available online at www.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, and http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.
*Due to a change in accounting policies, 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with 2012 figures. The decision to forego the application of proportionate consolidation affects mainly BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (2013 consolidated sales volume of some $9.7 billion). 2014 exchange rate: 1 EUR = $1.32850. 2013 exchange rate: 1 EUR = $1.32812.
About Climatec Founded in 1975, Climatec is a leading provider of advanced building technologies and energy efficiency solutions. It serves building owners across nearly all market segments including education, health care, office, hospitality, industrial, federal, state and local government. Climatec’s automation and efficiency solutions improve building comfort and deliver significant energy and operational savings. Its life-safety and security solutions create productive environments that protect building occupants and business assets. Climatec is headquartered in Phoenix with offices across Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas, and has over 600 full-time employees. Visit www.climatec.com for more information.
About Pegasus Capital Advisors Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. is a private equity fund manager that has been providing creative capital and strategic solutions to companies across a variety of industries since 1996. Pegasus partners with management teams of growth companies, with a focus on those that benefit from the business implications of global resource scarcity. Sectors where this trend is most pronounced are food, water, energy, health & wellness and security. Pegasus currently manages approximately $2.0 billion in assets. Visit www.pcalp.com for more information.
New business models will be possible, new competitors will emerge
Potential competitive advantage for high-cost locations as well
Stuttgart – Connected industry, also called Industry 4.0, offers German companies numerous opportunities for new business and improved productivity, and thus also for increased competitiveness. This was the message from Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management, at an event with representatives of the business community in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart. “Connected manufacturing processes have the potential to improve productivity by up to 30 percent,” Denner continued. “Thanks to Industry 4.0, we can also be competitive in a in high-cost country like Germany.” At the same time, the CEO of the technology and services company warned that not all companies have recognized these opportunities. On the one hand, he said, this means that many have not confronted the challenges of connected production early enough. “On the other hand, small and medium-sized enterprises and the mechanical engineering sector in Germany risk losing out to international competitors in this area.” In many cases, countries such as China, the U.S., and Korea are driving forward connectivity far more decisively, Denner argued.
Customized products at mass-production cost On the path to connected industry, Bosch sees itself as both a leading proponent and leading supplier of software and hardware. The company is currently working on connecting its more than 250 manufacturing locations worldwide. “Industry 4.0 also enables high flexibility in production,” Denner said. “On a connected assembly line, we can for example produce many different hydraulic valves for agricultural machinery side by side, and add new variants at any time – without any complex retooling.” That makes customized products possible in cost-effective mass production as well.
Too slow by international standards Denner is concerned that the increasing trend toward connectivity and the changes resulting from this are in many cases being given far too little attention in Germany. “Our progress is too slow by international standards. A lot will happen more quickly than many currently believe. But if we tackle it now, the internet of things and Industry 4.0 have the potential to help bring strong growth back to Europe.” Denner called on business and political leaders to quickly and concertedly work on creating the necessary practical conditions for connected manufacturing, as Germany otherwise risks wasting its head start in this field.
Background: Industry 4.0 – manufacturing on the internet of things In conjunction with fast data networks and software, sensors on components and machines enable objects to exchange information with one another without the need for human intervention (“internet of things”). In the future, even objects that up to now have not contained any electronics will be able to communicate with each other. The data created in the process will allow useful new information to be derived and interrelationships to be analyzed. For example, a machine can identify wear and tear and arrange for maintenance in good time. In this way, unplanned downtime can be reduced and productivity increased.