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News | Startup drive for better air quality

Bosch is increasingly promoting the innovative strength of startups

According to a study of the World Health Organization (WHO), 90 percent of the world population is exposed to poor quality air, with the worst conditions in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia as well as in megacities around the world. Bosch has responded to tackling this enormous challenge not only with its own solutions – among them air-measuring devices, virtual power plants, and mobility services – it has also stepped up its cooperation with startups. In May, Bosch engaged in dialog with startup founders at the “Pioneers’ 18” tech event in Vienna, where 2,500 young entrepreneurs from around the world with established companies convened.

 

Participants of the Bosch pitching challenge (Source: Robert Bosch AG/APA-Fotoservice/Schedl, photographer: Ludwig Schedl)

 

Better ambient air thanks to smart devices

In an ideas competition, startups competed for the best way to turn real-time data from air measuring sensors into concrete measures. With the “Bosch Pitching Challenge”, participants were asked to come up with creative approaches related to the Internet of Things. The winning technology aims to ensure good ambient air quality. “Clairy”, an Italian startup, developed a smart flower pot that naturally keeps ambient air clean: a small ventilator aerates the plant’s roots so that they can better absorb hazardous substances and turn them into oxygen. The jury was convinced of the idea’s potential and gave the startup the opportunity to keep working on it with Bosch experts.

 

Paolo Ganis, one of the founders of the startup Clairy (Source: Robert Bosch AG/APA-Fotoservice/Schedl, photographer: Ludwig Schedl)

 

Bosch is increasingly becoming a startup founder itself for sustainable solutions, for instance with Triffix. The company’s start-up specializes in “virtual traffic signs” that are currently being tested in Stuttgart, Germany. The city’s traffic control center transmits relevant information, including recommended action, to Triffix, which then forwards data directly to users’ smart phones via push notifications. In brief: everyone receives the most important information in the right place and at the right time, thus allowing drivers to avoid obstacles and stay on the most eco-friendly route. 

 

More information on the Pitching Challenge can be found here

Further information on startup ideas that Bosch promotes can be found on the Bosch Startup Platform

News | Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018: species protection and the sustainable use of resources in Africa

Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Junior Professorship for the “Sustainable use of natural resources” goes to Dr. Jacqueline Loos

How can the natural environment be protected without causing the local population to go hungry? When it comes to species protection and the maintenance of biodiversity in developing countries, this is a central question. The environmental scientist Dr. Jacqueline Loos of Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany, aims to answer this question with her research. The recipient of the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018 is working on a research project entitled: “Wildlife, Values, Justice: Reconciling Sustainability in African Protected Areas.” Her research focuses on the effectiveness of nature reserves in Zambia and Tanzania, where more than a third of the surface area is protected.

 

Dr. Jacqueline Loos, Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018 (Photo: Robert Bosch Stiftung / Robert Thiele)

 

Conservation and the sustainable use of resources

Addressing population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is a major challenge. Loos has concluded that a nature reserve can only function and fully serve its purpose if the local population does not suffer as a result of it. A balance must thus be struck between protecting the environment and making sustainable use of local natural resources. With her research, Loos aims to help draw a realistic picture of local realities, and to reconcile them with conservation and species protection initiatives.  “The fight to maintain biodiversity cannot succeed if the local population is starving,” says Dr. Loos. “If we want to ensure that nature reserves function properly, the local population must also benefit. We must thus take their needs into account and involve them in decision-making process.” Loos also uses modern technology for her research, such as drones and automated image processing. Her aim is to gather information on animal populations at her study site. Loos is set to receive a total of one million euros in funding from Robert Bosch Stiftung over a period of five years.

More than a million euros in funding

Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to strengthen sustainability science in Germany. To this end, it has offered the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship for the “Sustainable use of natural resources” since 2008. The initiative funds research at German universities or research institutions with up to a million euros over a period of five years, and aims to help solve urgent socio-ecological challenges that are relevant especially in developing or emerging countries. The research findings should contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The following video presents more information about the research project.

News | Sparking enthusiasm for learning: 80 years of Bosch Jugendhilfe

Bosch Jugendhilfe is celebrating its 80th birthday

Since 1938, Bosch Jugendhilfe has been helping associates of limited financial means and their children. Until now, it has supported 3,465 young people. The initiative aims to help youth complete higher education. “It is well known that the level of education a person achieves in Germany is highly dependent on their family background,” says Marion-Oertel Nau, head of the program. “Now, more than ever, a successful career requires a formal qualification and lifelong learning.”

Marion Oertel-Nau, Head of the Bosch Jugendhilfe

Scholarship opens up new perspectives

Bosch Jugendhilfe supports talented employees or their children with scholarships. Depending on the individual needs, the initiative offers young people a variety of different programs for personal and professional development. For instance, students can apply for financial support for tutoring, take part in a mentoring program and participate in workshops. Scholars receive a monthly payment to provide for books and other university supplies, as well as a subsidy for a semester abroad and the chance to attend classes hosted by Bosch Jugendhilfe.

The story of an employee’s daughter from Remseck, Germany, is a perfect example for the impact this scholarship can have on a student’s career. The 23-year-old Gizem Dülger has been supported by Bosch Jugendhilfe since she was in school. A time, as she now remembers, when she was looking for a purpose: “I didn’t believe in myself at the time. I wasn’t motivated, had no perspective.” Bosch Jugendhilfe provided said perspective and gave Gizem a goal worth working towards. Lately, she graduated from college and is looking for a job in Human Ressources. When asked what she benefited from the most, she says that the annual workshops for scholars helped her develop her talents. At these seminars, scholars extend their network and get in touch with other scholars and professionals. Moreover, they strengthen soft and hard skills which are important for their future careers. For Gizem these courses were a highlight of her scholarship: “At the workshops, I learned how to give a presentation – and so much more.”  

Gizem Dülger, scholar of the Bosch Jugendhilfe

Employees support employees

One thing that stands out with regard to the different programs of Bosch Jugendhilfe is the employees’ commitment. Bosch associates work as honorary mentors who spend two hours a week with their mentee. In this role, they act as tutors who guide and motivate their students. They offer support in all life situations and give advice on any problems and concerns.

A detailed interview with Marion Oertel-Nau, the head of Bosch Jugendhilfe, can be found here.

The story about Gizem Dülger can be found here.

More information on Bosch Jugendhilfe can be found here.

News | Diversity in practice

Bosch Diversity Day emphasizes the importance of diversity

On April 26, more than 400,000 associates at 125 Bosch locations around the world took part in the fifth annual international Bosch Diversity Day festivities over a period of 24 hours. The event aims to showcase the Bosch Group’s diversity with a broad range of initiatives, workshops, and dialogs. All associates around the globe were invited to participate at their respective locations, and to contribute their ideas. Many of them took the opportunity to learn more about colleagues with different cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and world views. They also became more aware of the importance of diversity for the company’s success.

Feedback via airmail

The “You made my Day” initiative was held at seven locations in Germany and Poland. Bosch associates were asked to write about “Who makes your day and why?” on postcards and send them to their colleagues around the world to express their appreciation. The cards were then distributed on Diversity Day. “We are all different, and these differences matter,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Being aware of and appreciating our differences can benefit our day-to-day work, and is increasingly a decisive success factor. We thus need everyone’s commitment in this regard.”

Bosch associates celebrate the diversity day in Dubai.

Gaining a better understanding of ourselves

Another Diversity Day highlight was the “Unconscious Bias“ workshop that was held at locations around the world, where participants learned more about their own unconscious thought patterns.  While these patterns help people make quick decisions in their everyday lives, they can also be based on stereotypes and clichés. By becoming aware of one’s own thought patterns, interactions with colleagues and peers can be improved. In the Czech Republic, Bosch associates wrote down their own unconscious bias on cards and then attached them to balloons to symbolically send them off forever. This was just one of many Diversity Day events that took place around the globe

News | The diesel of the future

New Bosch diesel technology minimizes nitrogen oxide emissions

Reducing nitrogen oxide emissions protects the climate, and a new Bosch diesel technology helps achieve this. At the annual Bosch press conference on April 25, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management, presented a breakthrough in diesel research. The Bosch innovations have made it possible to significantly reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions of vehicles, to the point that real driving emissions (RDE) are well below current limits as well as target limits for 2020. To achieve this, Bosch engineers fine-tuned existing technologies. Additional components that would result in higher costs are not required. “We have pushed the boundaries of what is technically possible,” said Volkmar Denner.

A record in lowering emissions

Since 2017, European legislation has required that new vehicle models emit a maximum of 168 milligrams of nitrogen oxide per kilometer travelled. This limit takes into account an RDE-compliant mix of urban, long-haul, and highway driving. From 2020, emissions limits will decrease to a maximum of 120 milligrams. Bosch technology already achieves a record value of 13 milligrams per kilometer – about a tenth of the future limit. Even with challenging urban drives, Bosch test vehicles have achieved an average of 40 milligrams per kilometer. This has been made possible by a combination of sophisticated fuel injection technology, a newly developed air system, and intelligent temperature management.

Smart and transparent

In addition to these latest innovations, Bosch continues to improve the diesel engine, now also with the help of artificial intelligence. The aim is to develop an internal combustion engine that runs practically without producing nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions. “We still believe that diesel will play an important role in the mobility mix of the future. Until we see a breakthrough with e-mobility, we need a highly efficient internal combustion engine,” said Denner. Another important step will be achieving a transparent carbon footprint for road traffic that also takes emissions from fuel production and power generation into account.

More information on innovative Bosch diesel technologies can be found here