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Bosch associates spark interest in technology and entrepreneurship

Trix Boehne

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Wissensfabrik: strengthening Germany’s future viability

More knowledge, more skills, more future – for over ten years, this is what “Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V.” has stood for. Bosch was one of the founders of this initiative, which was launched in 2005. With its two areas of action – education and entrepreneurship – the Wissensfabrik pursues the goal of sparking enthusiasm for technology and science among children and young people while also addressing students and up-and-coming entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurship in Germany. Today, Bosch and some 120 other companies and foundations are working to support this idea. Through their commitment, the members act in a socially responsible manner to strengthen Germany as a business location in the long term. To do so, the Wissensfabrik works with academic and scientific partners from universities, research institutes, and education establishments, as well as with networks of entrepreneurs, to develop age-appropriate projects that are used at kindergartens and schools throughout Germany. They also connect start-ups to established companies and provide opportunities for in-depth dialogue.

Bosch: 300 educational partnerships with schools and kindergartens

Bosch’s involvement in the Wissensfabrik does not center on financial support or business interests, but rather on the personal commitment of the members and participants. Nationwide, around 100 Bosch associates work on behalf of the initiative each year as mentors or trainers, for example. Their ranks also include top executives who are committed to education and young entrepreneurs. In addition, more than 500 apprentices from the supplier of technology and services are active in various Wissensfabrik projects as part of their occupational training. All participants gain professional, methodological, and social skills. The Wissensfabrik combines theoretical and practical knowledge, especially in the educational projects, and links places of learning – kindergartens and schools – with the business world. To start a project, educational institutions look for a member of the Wissensfabrik in their region for a partnership. Bosch has already entered into 300 educational partnerships with kindergartens and schools across Germany.

Bosch apprentices teach technical and digital knowledge

Along with general skills such as reading, writing, and math, the various educational projects focus primarily on conveying scientific, technical, and business knowledge to children and young people. The teaching materials have been developed in cooperation with scientific experts and have been tested in line with educational guidelines and approved for use. KiTec – Kinder erleben Technik (children discover technology) is one of the successful projects that Bosch uses at roughly 225 schools and kindergartens. Under the guidance of Bosch apprentices, children work on their own technical projects, such as building treasure chests, insect hotels, or towers. Bosch apprentices and trainers also teach school students basic digital knowledge to equip them for the connected world. As part of the new IT2School project, they explore IT together and discuss topics such as communication, data, programming languages, or how hardware and software work.

Bosch managers advise start-up founders and students

As the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, students and start-up founders also benefit from what the initiative has to offer. In addition to education, the early support of innovative start-up ideas and entrepreneurship is the Wissensfabrik’s second objective to which Bosch is committed. With this in mind, many of the company’s executives pass on their expertise. The Wissensfabrik’s mentoring programs give young entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their innovative and technology-oriented ideas to experienced executives and benefit from their tips and suggestions. As part of the Student2Start-up project, for example, students can turn selected issues from their everyday work into the topic of a seminar at their universities. They are supported in the process by a Bosch manager. At the Weconomy start-up competition, young entrepreneurs have a whole weekend to get advice from Bosch Supervisory Board Chairman Franz Fehrenbach and others.

A sustainable approach to promoting young talent

Along with its social involvement in the Wissensfabrik, Bosch is also committed worldwide to promoting young talent as part of various other initiatives. The supplier of technology and services would particularly like to get girls familiar with technical subjects at an early age to encourage them to pursue technical careers. In addition, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH supports many young entrepreneurs worldwide with their innovative product ideas and business models by providing venture capital.

Internet:

Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland: www.wissensfabrik.de (German)

Bosch as an employer: http://www.bosch-career.com

Robert Bosch Venture Capital: www.rbvc.com

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. 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 facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. 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 Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 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. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

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 upfront 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, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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