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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.
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.
The sustainable cities of the future
By 2050, about two-thirds of the world population will be living in cities. Today, urban conurbations already account for around 75 percent of global energy consumption. Traffic density in urban areas will triple by 2050, which will also increase the need to protect the climate. For this reason, in 2017 Bosch decided to focus its efforts on the sustainable development of cities, which promotes the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11. “The city of 2050 will use renewable sources of energy. It will combine modes of transport intelligently and conserve resources,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In brief: “The city of tomorrow is connected, sustainable, and livable.” In the Bosch Sustainability Report 2017, the company presents the broad range of solutions it offers for the cities of the future.
Five approaches to transforming cities
Bosch has come up with five approaches to rethinking cities. With “New types of space”, the company is focusing on ways of reducing energy consumption in urban buildings. At the same time, Bosch is driving “New forms of mobility” forward with the aim of making the road traffic of the future emissions-free, stress-free, and accident-free with climate-friendly technologies and connected infrastructure solutions. The new iDisc brake disc is one example of how the company is doing this. Compared with conventional brake discs, the iDisc reduces brake dust by as much as 90 percent.
With “New types of work”, Bosch is developing innovations that make day-to-day work more agile, more efficient, and safer. In the area of “New means of production”, the company is focusing on resource-friendly applications. For instance, the GoGreen program has saved more than 150,000 tons of CO₂ since 2011. And with “New forms of social interaction”, Bosch is cooperating with its regional foundations to fulfill its commitment to social responsibility. Supporting young people is one aspect of this commitment. The aim is to give young people better opportunities for the future, regardless of their background.
One result of this broad range of measures is that Bosch had reduced its CO2 emissions by a third in 2017 over the 2007 reference year. Water consumption has been cut by 10 percent in the past two years alone, and the volume of waste has decreased four percent. What is more, Bosch has conducted 740 environmental audits of its suppliers since 2010. The number of accidents per million hours worked has decreased by about two-thirds since 2007. The company has also made progress in terms of gender equality: in 2017, women held more than one in six management positions at Bosch.
The Bosch Sustainability Report 2017 can be found here.
Stories on the five Bosch approaches to sustainable cities can be found here.
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.
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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