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Malaysian students develop creative sustainability concepts in a Bosch competition
With the slogan “Innovation around my campus”, Bosch Malaysia invited university students from across the country to take part in a competition in the fall of 2015. The students were asked to come up with ideas that would make the campus more sustainable and energy efficient. Teams from ten Malaysian universities submitted their suggestions, and the winner was recently announced.
Winner team: Interactsys from Mara Technical University.
A team of three from Mara Technical University (UITM) took first prize in the competition. Syahmi, Lina, and Naim developed a multifunctional smart bracelet that is connected to the university’s energy system. It can detect when a room is empty, and then turn out the lights and regulate the heating accordingly. At the same time, it can be used as a key card that allows the wearer to operate electrical appliances such as fans or lamps with hand signals. On the heels of their victory, the winners now have the opportunity to see their idea put into practice during an internship at Bosch Malaysia. Each of the winners has also received a cash prize of MYR 3,000 (about 670 euros).
Simon Song, President of Bosch Malaysia, considers the competition a reflection of the company and its founder. “Bosch has always strived to uphold our pioneering tradition. The competition reflects this as it allows us to share our core value of innovation with young Malaysians. Not only are we proud to provide a platform for creative expression, we are also offering the tools to bring these ideas to life,” he said.
Short videos of the students presenting their submissions can be found here.
Bosch is investing in its training program for up-and-coming executives
More spots for the bosses of the future: in 2016, Bosch plans to fill some 280 positions in its training program for up-and-coming executives. The Junior Managers Program, or JMP for short, prepares young professionals for their future tasks as decision makers. Bosch actively seeks graduates with top marks in IT, economics, or engineering. The traineeship comprises several individual modules, which the participant selects in cooperation with a mentor from senior management.
26-year-old information systems graduate Theresa Best (JMP trainee) in discussion with colleagues
Bosch is currently recruiting trainees in more than 30 countries around the world. The company aims to fill a large number of trainee positions in Germany (65) and China (41). Bosch will also be launching the program in Southeast Asia, with 34 positions in the region. In addition to this, this year the company will be recruiting four candidates in Africa for the first time. Female applicants have especially good prospects. By 2020, Bosch aims to increase its share of women in management positions to 20 percent.
“The bosses of the future have to be navigators and beacons,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the Bosch board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. In addition to their specialist education, future Bosch executives also need to be familiar with the company’s corporate culture. “As trainees, they will get to know our corporate culture from the bottom up. It is a culture based on values and a sustainable approach to doing business rather than on short-term gain,” Christoph Kübel says. The JMP is considered a career springboard: four current members of the Bosch board of management are former trainees.
More information on the Junior Managers Program can be found here.
An active Bosch gas pedal helps make driving more fuel efficient
The driver’s foot is responsible for one-quarter of fuel consumption. In the past, eco-driving lessons were about the only thing that could be done about this rule of thumb. Now, however, the Bosch active gas pedal provides drivers with extra help. In the form of tapping, vibration, or resistance, it gives drivers haptic signals to let them know they need to change their driving behavior. This innovation can reduce fuel consumption by up to seven percent, which in turn has a positive effect on CO2 emissions. But that’s not all: the active gas pedal can also be connected with other vehicle functions. This not only makes driving more efficient, but also safer.
For instance, with tapping, the active gas pedal lets drivers know when they are driving too fast. In combination with the navigation system or a camera, it also helps drivers detect hazards in potentially dangerous situations. It provides a warning, for example, when the vehicle is driving into a bend too fast. By drawing on online data, the active gas pedal also issues warnings in the event of wrong-way drivers, traffic jams, cross traffic at intersections, or other hazards along the planned route. Combined with the collision warning system, it warns drivers when they should stop accelerating.
In addition to all this, drivers of manual vehicles now receive a haptic signal that tells them when they’ve shifted into the ideal gear. At present, the signal appears as a small arrow on the vehicle’s display. “The pedal shows the point at which acceleration and fuel efficiency are ideal,” says Stefan Seiberth, President of Gasoline Systems. The fuel saving potential of hybrid vehicles is especially high: whenever the vehicle switches from the internal combustion engine to the electric motor and back again, the system issues a signal. Drivers can then adapt their driving behavior accordingly and reduce fuel consumption even further.
More information on the active gas pedal can be found here.
Associates donate more than 400,000 euros for refugees, and Bosch matches the sum
For two months, the aid organization Primavera e.V., a Bosch initiative, collected donations from associates for refugees in Europe. At the beginning of December, the Bosch board of management, the group works council, and the combined executives’ committee called on associates to make donations for refugees. With excellent results: more than 400,000 euros were collected at Bosch locations in Germany and abroad. “I am very pleased about this positive response, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who made a donation,“ said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management. “This shows how committed our company is to fulfilling its social responsibility.”
As promised, Bosch has matched the total sum of donations: from April onward, 820,000 euros will be spent on sustainable projects that support refugees. Starting immediately, associates can make suggestions for aid organizations they think the money should go to. Eligible projects include non-profit initiatives that current or former Bosch associates support, ideally close to a Bosch location. “It’s important to us that our associates’ donations make a measurable difference locally,” said Alfred Löckle, head of the group works council. “Our associates know exactly what’s important in the areas close to their locations.” An internal committee will decide how the donations will be distributed. The results of this decision will be announced at the beginning of April.
In December 2015, Bosch had already contributed 500,000 euros for measures that promote integration. Moreover, the company has made unused property available to municipalities and communities to build refugee shelters, as well as empty apartments.
In addition to this, Bosch is taking part in the Germany-wide „Wir zusammen“ initiative, a platform that currently pools the projects of more than 30 large and mid-sized companies. The aim is to inspire others to set up their own projects for refugees. Bosch is presenting an internship program on the platform that aims to help refugees enter the German labor market more easily. To this end, the company is working closely with different public institutions to support existing qualification programs. During the internships, Bosch associates will provide mentorships and interns will receive supporting language lessons, as these measures will help promote integration.
In recent months, associates have also volunteered for a number of local projects. For instance, they collected donations in kind for NGOs such as the German Red Cross and Arbeiterwohlfahrt. Donations included many practical things, such as sleeping bags, bicycles, and towels.
Bosch takes first place at the New Work Award 2016
“Diversity is our Advantage” is Bosch’s motto, and the company lives up to its promise of promoting work/life balance by offering a variety of work-time models, among them flexible working hours, part-time management, and telecommuting, At the end of January, the company was honored for this commitment to its associates at the New Work Award 2016, which was presented by the XING professional social network. Bosch took first place at the award ceremony, followed by the construction company Heitkamp & Hülscher, which offers its employees a profit-sharing scheme. Third place went to Bike Citizens GmbH from Graz, Austria, which has introduced a four-day work week for all its employees.
Daniela Huber and Dörte Heidemann (both Bosch) with host Michel Abdollahi.
It was the third time that XING honored forward-looking companies in German-speaking countries that have acted as role models by redefining their working cultures. Bosch won against more than 140 competitors. The company considers the diversity and individuality of its associates an asset, and a prerequisite of successful business. For this reason, Bosch has made promoting a healthy balance between work and private life part of its corporate culture. The company currently offers more than 100 different working time models. Among other things, these models allow executives to work part-time or with flexible home office solutions. In periods of challenging personal situations, for instance when associates need to care for family members, Bosch supports its associates with both short and long-term solutions.
“Work/life balance is becoming increasingly important for our associates, as working time is also a part of life,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Bosch. “Our corporate culture aims to promote a flexible working culture that considers family obligations just as important as work-related responsibilities.”
More information on the New Work Award can be found here (only available in German).
Picture source: BrauerPhotos (M. Nass) for Hubert Burda Media.