Bosch forms an alliance against cancer

  • The Robert Bosch Hospital (RBK), the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Bosch Group join forces in the fight against cancer
  • RBK sets up new Robert Bosch Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen in collaboration with the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
  • Robert Bosch Stiftung makes additional 24 million euros in funding available for cancer research up to 2020
  • Bosch Group offers program to support associates with cancer
Stuttgart – The Robert Bosch Hospital (RBK), the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Bosch Group are joining forces to fight cancer. The three partners have formed an alliance and started several initiatives. The alliance’s core elements are the newly established Robert Bosch Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (RBCT: Robert Bosch tumor center) in Stuttgart and the planned alliance with the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ: German center for cancer research). Representatives of RBK and DKFZ signed a declaration of intent to this effect on July 18, 2016. To support the establishment of the RBCT, the Robert Bosch Stiftung is making extra funding available. It already provides the RBK with basic funding for medical research projects. Between now and 2020, 24 million euros will be devoted specifically to cancer research. Effective immediately, the Bosch Group will also give its associates with cancer access to the latest diagnostic methods offered by the RBK and the DKFZ. It will make roughly one million euros available each year for this purpose. “The hospital, Stiftung, and company are all part of the Bosch world and share the values of Robert Bosch. He was a role model of social responsibility, setting up the Robert Bosch Hospital in 1940. With our alliance against cancer, we are now continuing this commitment to healthcare, each partner according to the means at its disposal,” said Professor Joachim Rogall, managing director of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Incidence of cancer continues to rise
This move is prompted by the continuing significant increase in the incidence of cancer worldwide. The World Health Organization expects the annual incidence of the disease to rise to some 20 million by 2025. In 2012, the figure was already 14 million. Across the globe, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death. In Germany alone, some 224,000 people die of cancer each year.

Latest research findings for the best possible treatment
The new RBCT will be a part of the Robert Bosch Hospital, with the joint research with DKFZ in particular reinforcing its cancer-research activities. At the RBK, cancer patients will be treated in partnership with the university hospital in Tübingen. This partnership, known as the Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart, has been running successfully since 2014. “In close exchange with the Tübingen university clinic and the DKFZ, we want to use modern precision oncology to offer patients individualized treatment. This will take account of the latest cancer-research findings, and thus offer the most promising form of treatment,” said Professor Mark Dominik Alscher, medical director of the Robert Bosch Hospital. “The comprehensive funding will be used to set up a research center and to hire additional experts for the medical team. In addition, it is planned to set up two endowed chairs to support research activity in this field.”

Patients benefit from rapid transfer of research findings
“We are pleased to have such a strong partner in the form of this Bosch alliance,” says Professor Michael Boutros, the acting scientific head of the DKFZ. “By setting up new endowed chairs, we want to drive forward innovative cancer research that will benefit patients.” With a staff of more than 3,000, the DKFZ is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute. At the DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists research the causes of cancer, register cancer risk factors, and explore new strategies for preventing cancer development. They come up with new methods for diagnosing tumors more precisely and treating cancer patients more successfully. Together with the university clinic in Heidelberg, the DKFZ has set up the Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT: national tumor center), where promising approaches from cancer research are applied in clinical practice. The combination of excellent cancer treatment with the DKFZ’s high-caliber research plays an important role in improving cancer patients’ prospects.

Bosch offers program to support company associates
In the future, the Bosch Group intends to offer associates with cancer support that goes beyond the standard care offered by statutory health insurance. “As a company dedicated to an ‘Invented for life’ ethos, we and our partners are taking up the fight against cancer,” said Volkmar Denner, the Bosch CEO. Effective immediately, associates with cancer will have access to the latest diagnostic tests at the RBK, paid for by the company. As part of the OncoCure initiative, this offer will initially be open to associates in Germany. Later, it is to be extended to the workforce worldwide. For this purpose, the company is making roughly one million euros available annually. “Our objective is clear: we want to use precision diagnostics to improve the prospects of successful cancer treatment. This will help the associates affected, their families, their friends, and not least their colleagues. In this, we see ourselves as following in the footsteps of our founder Robert Bosch,” Denner said.

Contact person for journalists’ inquiries (Robert Bosch Hospital):
Marlies Kepp, phone: +49 711 8101 3047,

Contact person for journalists’ inquiries (Robert Bosch Stiftung):
Stefan Schott, phone: +49 711 46084-600,

Contact person for journalists’ inquiries (Bosch Group):
Dirk Haushalter, phone: +49 711 811-38195,

Bosch Group
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. At roughly 118 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development. 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.”

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How social is Bosch today? Some thoughts on the OncoCure initiative
Statement by Dr. Volkmar Denner,
chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH,
at the press briefing on July 18, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today is the first time a Bosch management board member has spoken at this hospital since it was inaugurated by Robert Bosch. But the topic I want to address today is one that is very close to my heart. The fact that the hospital and the Stiftung have formed an alliance against cancer, which is still the second most frequent cause of death worldwide, is something that moves me greatly. The company that has made “Invented for life” its rallying cry wants to open up the alliance against cancer for its associates. Effective immediately, we will give associates with cancer access to the latest diagnostic tests here in the hospital, with the costs being borne by the company. We have called this initiative “OncoCure.” It will initially be offered to associates in Germany, and later to associates worldwide. For this purpose, we will make roughly one million euros available each year. Our objective is clear: we want to use precision diagnostics to improve the prospects of successful cancer treatment. This will help the associates affected, their families, their friends, and not least their colleagues. In this, we see ourselves as following in the footsteps of our founder Robert Bosch.

Yet Robert Bosch always saw his social commitment from a business perspective. His speech at the inauguration of this hospital reads almost like his legacy to the company. It starts with relatively stern words: “If an institution is to bear my name, then it should especially heed the following principles.” What followed was a list of the principles of efficient work – principles that were formulated for the hospital but could have applied equally to his company. Robert Bosch called for conscientiousness and thrift. All tasks were important, he said, even the most modest. He also placed great importance on addressing problems openly: “We should all strive to improve on the status quo: none of us should ever be satisfied with what has been achieved.” Simply and clearly, this sentence describes how an innovative company sees itself. However, it can also be understood as an exhortation to persevere in the fight against diseases that appear to be incurable. Neither a purely business perspective nor a purely social one can explain Robert Bosch – he always had both perspectives in mind.

In times of significant change as well, the company that bears his name seeks to reconcile these two perspectives. The word we use here is transformation. Its root causes lie in the economic sphere – socially, we make its repercussions as acceptable as possible. When reconciling entrepreneurial and social interests, this is our ideal. However, there is one thing that needs to be made even clearer: in the long term, our company’s transformation is directly relevant for society. If we did not react, or reacted too late, to seismic shifts in the market and technology, then we would be putting the existence of everyone’s jobs at risk, not just those of a few. And socially, nothing could be more irresponsible than that. In the end, only a dynamic company can act socially. Robert Bosch himself did not leave it at the magneto ignition device. If he had, it is unlikely his “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” would have developed into a company employing 400,000 people worldwide.

It is above all technological progress that bears fruit for society. This is not just because innovations are the only way a company like Bosch can develop strongly. It is also because much of the pioneering work done by our company has truly been “Invented for life.” We are reminded here of systems such as ABS and ESP, which prevent accidents on our roads – or indeed of our packaging technology, which helps ensure that medicine and vaccines reach patients safely. And as part of this continuing tradition, we are also taking up the fight against a disease like cancer. In each instance, the solutions differ, but the way we see our task is the same. Just as Robert Bosch would have said, every success in the fight against cancer is important, even the most modest one. And any progress we achieve here makes more than just economic sense – it will always also benefit society as a whole. For our associates, the OncoCure initiative is a first step in this direction.
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