Stuttgart, Germany – Germany is getting its first Cyber Valley: to drive forward research in Baden-Württemberg on artificial intelligence, Bosch and partners from politics, business, and science are pooling their strengths in a new initiative. Modeled after Silicon Valley, Cyber Valley’s aim is to translate findings from basic research into concrete industrial applications. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence are key competencies in shaping the connected world,” said Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner at the Cyber Valley kickoff in Stuttgart. “In the international competition for innovation, Germany should not sit back and allow major IT companies from abroad to dominate these areas.” Bosch is supporting the Cyber Valley venture to the tune of some seven million euros.
We want to attract the best minds to this region. World-class research will make Baden-Württemberg even more attractive for up-and-coming scientists from around the worldDr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH
Endowed chair for fostering the next generation of researchers
To drive forward research in machine learning, Bosch is establishing an endowed chair at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, near Stuttgart. Over a period of ten years, the company will fund the chair with a total of 5.5 million euros. “We want to attract the best minds to this region. World-class research will make Baden-Württemberg even more attractive for up-and-coming scientists from around the world,” said Denner, who is also in charge of research and advance engineering at Bosch. Located in the Stuttgart-Tübingen region, the Cyber Valley Center will bring together top researchers from a range of disciplines, such as software engineering, physics, biology, materials science, and neuroscience. In addition to the endowed chair, Bosch will be providing funding to Cyber Valley in the amount of some 1.3 million euros over five years. “The interplay of industry, research, and government will make this regional cluster a global hotspot for top researchers,” stressed Denner.
Strengthening the region’s start-up scene
Besides expanding scientific excellence and fostering young talent, Cyber Valley also aims at enhancing the start-up scene in the Stuttgart-Tübingen region. Young researchers working in Cyber Valley will be encouraged to found their own companies, so that they may quickly transfer scientific findings to product and service development. “Artificial intelligence must also prove worthwhile financially. A vibrant start-up scene in Cyber Valley will play a key role in this regard,” said Denner. Alongside Bosch and five other companies, founding members of Cyber Valley include the Max Planck Society, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the University of Tübingen, and the University of Stuttgart.
Facts and figures on Cyber Valley:
• Participating companies: Bosch, ZF Friedrichshafen, Daimler, Porsche, BMW, and Facebook
• Bosch is endowing a chair of machine learning at the University of Tübingen with 5.5 million euros over ten years
• Research at Cyber Valley focuses on robotics, machine learning, computer vision
• A research building to be constructed in Stuttgart by 2022
• First step: Nine research groups to be created
• Endowed chair at the University of Stuttgart
• Founding of the International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems (100 doctoral students in six years)
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life, and to improve 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 Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 59,000 associates in research and development.
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.