563 participants in the local “Jugend forscht” heats across Baden-Württemberg
More than 100 talented young people prove Baden-Württemberg's inventive spirit in the regional round
Projects ranging from robotics and mobile observatories to balloons that can save lives
Visitors' day in Fellbach from 1 p.m. on April 10, 2014
Fellbach – 107 young researchers will demonstrate Baden-Württemberg's innovative strength and inventive spirit in the 49th regional round of the “Jugend forscht” competition, with the best ideas being selected by a judges' panel from April 8 – 10, 2014. The winners will represent Baden-Württemberg in the national competition, which will be held in May, and whose motto this year is “Make your idea happen.” The patron of the regional round is Andreas Stoch, Baden-Württemberg's minister for culture, youth, and sport. This is the 29th time that Bosch is sponsoring the regional competition. Speaking ahead of the competition, Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, said: “The record-breaking number of participants this year shows the enormous strength of ideas that young people in Baden-Württemberg have. These young people are tomorrow's new recruits who will strengthen Baden-Württemberg as an economic region. Their inventions and approaches to solving problems will contribute to the creative variety of the companies they will work for. That is why Bosch has been involved with this competition for many years now, as a way of getting young people interested in technical careers from an early age.”
Girls, too, show a growing interest in technology Interest across Baden-Württemberg in the “Jugend forscht” competition continues to grow, with this year's number of 563 participants and 281 projects breaking all records. Compared to last year, participation has risen by around seven percent and the number of projects by around eleven percent. The number of young women taking part has also gone up. Where last year just one in four participants was female, this year it is almost one in three. The majority of entries are in the areas of technology, biology, and the world of work. “If the 'Jugend forscht' competition didn't already exist, you'd have to invent it! For decades now, it has helped to get boys and girls of school age excited about the natural sciences and technology – which means it complements a central plank of the culture ministry's educational goals: support for MINT subjects,” says the competition's patron Andreas Stoch in reference to math, IT, science, and engineering in schools. Stoch congratulated all participants on the talent, exemplary commitment, and outstanding effort they have shown.
“Jugend forscht” opens its doors to visitors The young researchers will present their projects to the general public on Thursday, April 10, 2014, with tomorrow's research experts and their project supervisors staging a question-and-answer event between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Schwabenlandhalle auditorium, Tainer Strasse 7, Fellbach. Entry is free of charge.
From life-saving balloons to robotics A total of 281 projects were entered for the ten local heats across Baden-Württemberg. Of these, 57 qualified for the regional round, where a specialist panel of judges from schools, universities, and industry will select a winning project for each of the following categories: biology, chemistry, geosciences and space, math/IT, physics, technology, and the world of work. The winners of the regional competition will be honored on the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2014. They will go on to represent Baden-Württemberg in the national competition in Künzelsau, Germany, from May 29 to June 1, 2014.
World of work category – life-saving balloon The invention that Robin Jäger, Jannik Notter, and Philip Holzinger came up with at Bosch in Stuttgart-Feuerbach can save lives. They have developed a balloon with an integrated camera that automatically goes up whenever a truck is involved in an accident. This provides emergency crews with aerial images even before they reach the scene, so they can assess the situation on the ground.
Chemistry category – fire-fighting plaster Firefighters are outpaced by the blend of plaster developed by Carolin Langner, Julian Strähle, and Leo Scheibe at the Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Gymnasium in Metzingen. In the event of a fire, their plaster blend releases carbon dioxide and water to delay the fire's spread. It has potential for use in residential construction.
Geosciences and space category – mobile observatory Hannes Häbich, Henrik Jäger, and Florian Stober from Murrhardt have proved that observatories don't have to be big. They have converted a car trailer into a mobile observatory for use in research and as a star guide.
Technology category – soccer-playing robots Ruben Bauer, Eric Hauser, and Christoph Moser at the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Tuttlingen are developing two robots for a game of soccer. This sees them researching innovative drive systems, how to register surroundings with the help of various sensors, and communication between robots. They hope to transfer the knowledge this has brought them to other technology problems.
Bosch has been sponsoring young people's enthusiasm for technology since 1986 As a provider of technology and services, Bosch has sponsored not only the “Jugend forscht” competition in Baden-Württemberg since 1986, it also supports two further regional “Jugend forscht” heats. Bosch Thermotechnology took on the task of organizing the regional competition for central Hessen in 1996, while Bosch is also active in the Hildesheim region, where it sponsors “Jugend forscht” in conjunction with other companies.
In addition, Bosch is an active founding partner of the “Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany” initiative, which is also focused on educating and supporting young people in the fields of science, business, and technology. Across the country, Bosch has established 280 partnerships with educational institutions including day-care centers and schools.
Destinations include London, Panama City, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore
Participants will report on their experiences in a virtual travel diary
Deadline for applications: May 16, 2014
Stuttgart – Bosch is currently looking for six young people from across the globe to take part in the Bosch World Experience. The global supplier of technology and services will be sending participants on a 16-day trip around the world to visit well-known projects that Bosch is involved in. Destinations on this summer's trip will include London, Panama City, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore. Applications will be accepted between April 7 and May 16, 2014 at www.experience-bosch.com.
Bosch is more than you think Since Bosch was founded more than 125 years ago, the “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” has evolved into a global supplier of technology and services. Today, the company offers a broad range of products and services in the areas of automotive technology, industrial technology, consumer goods, as well as energy and building technology. And yet many people know Bosch only as a producer of cordless screwdrivers, washing machines, and spark plugs. With the “Bosch is more than you think” initiative, six women and men will be travelling to three continents to discover the ways in which Bosch leaves its mark on the world with technologies that are “Invented for life.” “Many people are only familiar with a fraction of the solutions that Bosch offers to improve the quality of life and spark people's enthusiasm. Bosch World Experience will offer its international participants an exclusive look behind the scenes of six major projects in which Bosch is involved, including in areas where one might not expect to find us,” says Karoline Hagen, a Bosch marketing manager, in describing the aim of the trip. Participants will learn, for instance, how container ships will soon be lowered and lifted a total of 26 meters in the Panama Canal's new locks, which are equipped with Bosch Rexroth hydraulics. Each of the stops on the trip will include a full program of complementary activities. In London, for instance, Bosch World Experience participants will take part in a blogger workshop. And in San Francisco, they will take a tour of the city on e-bikes.
Involving the online community via social media Participants will report on their experiences with posts, pictures, and videos on their social media channels. The online community can interact with participants via these channels, and thus also take part in the Bosch World Experience. Contributions will then be summarized in a blogumentary on a special website.
Participants should have an affinity for social media and a sense of curiosity Applications will be accepted starting April 7, 2014, at www.experience-bosch.com. Applicants must first register, answer questions on each of the destinations, and provide their personal details. They should have an affinity for social media and a sense of curiosity. Following the application phase, six participants from around the world will be chosen.
Employers should meet the needs of both younger and older employees
Bosch to hire 800 university graduates in Germany
Global workforce expected to grow by some 9,000 associates
Work-life balance a competitive advantage
Stuttgart – “If companies want to remain competitive in the labor market of the future, they must meet the needs of both younger and older employees,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, during a presentation to members of Stuttgart’s business and political communities. In a keynote speech on the working world of 2020, he emphasized the importance of work-life balance. “Flexible and varied working models can help avert the shortage of specialists and improve career prospects for women and older employees,” Kübel said. Such models will allow companies to keep important employees on board for a longer period of time, and to make management positions more attractive to women. According to Kübel, a good work-life balance stimulates employee creativity appreciably. Especially in the technical professions, women have yet to gain a strong enough foothold in specialist and management jobs.
No shortage of specialists at Bosch: 800 university graduates wanted According to a Robert Bosch Stiftung study that Kübel cited, Germany’s population will likely decrease from 82 million today to 71 million by 2050. For this reason, the Bosch board member sees lifelong learning and occupational health management as two core building blocks of future HR policy. According to Kübel, both will make it easier to maintain the mental and physical performance of today’s workforce for a longer time. In a connected industrial world, the need for low-skilled workers will decrease. For this reason, Bosch offers programs that aim to provide such workers with specialist qualifications. Specialists, in turn, are given opportunities to gain engineering skills. “At Bosch, we have yet to feel the impact of the shortage of specialists. This year, we expect to add another 9,000 associates to our global workforce. The Asia Pacific growth region will see the biggest increase.” The company plans to welcome new associates in Germany as well: “This year, we are planning to hire some 800 university graduates at Bosch locations in Germany. In addition, we expect to offer places for 1,400 new apprentices across the country.”
According to Kübel, policymakers also play an important role in shaping the working world of the future. In particular, a retirement policy that promotes a healthier and longer life for many employees can help ensure that the demand for specialists is met in the future. A move away from a culture that makes on-site work mandatory can also help achieve a healthy work-life balance. This, in turn, also helps keep employees healthy. At the same time, expanding the number of daycare facilities and all-day schools will reduce the burden on working parents and open up professional opportunities.
Project management: climbing the career ladder without personnel responsibility
Career opportunities in a connected work environment
Kübel, director of industrial relations: “Highly-qualified project managers are essential”
Stuttgart – Is it possible to have a career without being someone's boss? Following twelve months of further training, Oliver Maus has proven that it is. The 51-year-old Bosch associate is the 500th certified project manager at the global supplier of technology and services. Maus is now one of a group of specialists at the company who have acquired the expertise and skills required to manage major or very complex projects. He has already applied this know-how to successfully managing a major IT project that involved more than 100 people. The former software developer and sales manager passed the “Bosch Certified Project Manager” examination at Robert Bosch Kolleg. The Bosch Group is one of only a handful of employ¬ers that have such a high number of self-certified project managers around the world.
“As project manager, I especially enjoy managing associates, even if they aren't reporting to me,” Maus said at the certification ceremony. Maus works for the Drive and Control Technology division in Ketsch, in southern Germany. “Project managers often go off the beaten path, mainly because each project is so unique that the approach to reaching specific goals is never clearly laid out. Since there is no routine in project work, I can take a creative approach to tasks I've never dealt with before.”
Project management as a career path At Bosch, a career without personnel responsibility is also possible. The company offers three career paths that are similar both in financial and organizational terms. The executive, specialist, and project management paths offer associates a range of career development opportunities that allow them to pursue their preferences and develop their skills. Moreover, not only is it possible to switch paths if desired, it is also encouraged. Project management experience is also considered an important career building block for senior executives.
A connected work environment calls for project managers The world is increasingly connected, and companies must be able to share and pool their expertise across international and interdisciplinary bounda-ries. This is why a growing number of Bosch specialists work on a range of tasks in virtual teams for limited periods of time alongside their usual jobs. “Many project teams work with customers and other partners all over the world. A high standard of project management is indispensable for this,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH: “For this reason, we place a great deal of importance on ensuring that our project managers are highly qualified. Their work enhances our innovative strength and illustrates the many career paths that are possible at our company.”
At Bosch, there are many examples of complex projects: the company is currently testing automated driving technologies in Germany and California (1). The bi-national project team combines expertise from the realms of artificial intelligence and IT with traditional automotive know-how. The research center for advance engineering in Renningen is the biggest construction project in Bosch history. Under the site manager Petra Kinkartz's leadership, there are up to 800 tradespeople working on the building site (2). The winners of the German Future Prize also developed their ultrashort pulse laser, a tool for precise material processing, over the course of a multi-year project with partners outside the company (3).
Training that combines theory and practice Bosch has offered a training program for project managers since 2006. It combines the training standards of the renowned U.S. Project Management Institute with Bosch requirements. Participants complete the training program at Robert Bosch Kolleg, the company's university for specialists and senior executives. In addition to 100 hours of classes, students are required to commit an additional 50 hours for assignments and research papers. Another 100 hours are required to prepare for the final exam. To be admitted to the program, participants must already have some project management experience, for instance at the departmental or divisional level.