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News | Yallah! Young Muslims volunteer

Robert Bosch Stiftung promotes volunteerism among young Muslims in Germany

 

Developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung

 

Within the framework of the “Yallah!” program, young Muslim volunteers aim to provide insights into their religion and initiate a dialog with non-Muslims. In March, 20 participants met for a two-day conference in Berlin, at which they shared ideas and learned more about fundraising, press work, and organizational development.

 

Yallah! Young Muslim Volunteering

 

One of them is Yasser Haji Mohamad from Aleppo, Syria. He has lived in Mötzingen, southern Germany, for more than a year. “We have to talk more about Islam,” says the 19-year-old, who would like to study medicine in Germany. To this end, together with his friend Mehmet Arslan, he stared a “mobile dialog tent” in which Muslims can talk about Islam in German with one another. Non-Muslims can also take a quiz to find out more about the religion. Visitors to the tent have shown a great deal of interest and curiosity. “They want to know why we fast and ask questions about the role of women,” says Yasser. To him, painting a positive image of Islam is very important.

 

Hafssa El-Bouhamouchi, a 24-year-old from Bielefed, would also like people to gain a better understanding of her religion. With her team from the Hanover chapter of Muslimische Jugend in Deutschland e.V. (young Muslims in Germany), she has organized the “Tea Time” event series, which which sees Muslims invite non-Muslims for a cup of tea. The series has received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs. “Muslims must take ownership of the discourse about Islam once again,” says El-Bouhamouchi, who holds a degree in Islamic Studies. “We must speak up and help eliminate prejudice.”

 

Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the project within the framework of its “Yallah! Junge Muslime engagieren sich” (Young Muslims Volunteer) program, which funds projects and initiatives of young Muslims who want to make a difference in their surroundings. The selected projects receive 5,000 euros in funding. In addition, the Stiftung invites project representatives to take part in a two-day project management seminar, during which they learn skills in writing funding applications, fund management, and public relations.

 

More information on “Yallah!” can be found here.

 

Information for people who would like to apply for financial support from Robert Bosch Stiftung for their projects can be found here.

News | Increasing agricultural yield in nutrient-poor soils

Robert Bosch Stiftung awards its 2017 Junior Professorship to Dr. Michaela Dippold

New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung

In the coming years, food scarcity in Africa will continue to worsen as a result of stagnating agricultural yields for crop plants. One solution could be to use the types of high-yield plants that have contributed to increasing agricultural production in industrialized nations in recent years. The drawback of these types of plants is hat they require the best possible conditions, which were only available in high-performing agricultural environments until now.

 

 

The work of Dr. Michaela Dippold focuses on remedying this situation. The research associate in the department of crop sciences at Georg-August University in Göttingen is the Robert Bosch Junior Professor 2017. Over the course of her research, she will spend the next five years establishing the adaptation mechanisms of old plant types in Sub-Saharan Africa. Often, these are well adapted to local conditions such as drought and low nutrient intake, but their yield is relatively low. The aim of Dr. Dippold’s research is to find out how the water and nutrient intake of crop plants can be improved, also to achieve stable yields in nutrient-poor soils. The results of this work will serve as the basis for a new generation of high-yield plant types.

Since 2008, Robert Bosch Stiftung has awarded the “Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” junior professorship each year. The professorship is endowed with one million euros over a period of five years and serves to build an independent group of researchers at a German university or research institute. These groups serve to strengthen the realm of sustainability science in Germany and solve pressing environmental problems that are of particular relevance in developing or transitioning countries.

More information on the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship can be found here.

News | Three focal points for more humanity

Robert Bosch Stiftung is preparing for the future

New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung

Robert Bosch Stiftung is responding to current global challenges with a new strategic direction that includes better integrating refugees, improving community, and strengthening access to education around the world. Effective immediately, the Stiftung is focusing its activities on the three following areas: “Migration, Integration, and Participation”, “Social cohesion in Germany and Europe”, and “Sustainable Living Spaces” At the same time, at its New Years reception on January 18, 2017 in Berlin, senior executives reviewed the Stiftung’s positive results for last year: in 2016, some 107.9 million euros went toward charitable causes (status of January 19, 2017).

 

 

“With the three new focal areas, we are addressing major, relevant topics,” said Ute-Micaela Dürig, the CEO of Robert Bosch Stiftung. “Thanks to the expertise we have acquired in the areas we have traditionally funded, we can also make a lasting contribution to these three new focal areas.” Last year, an expert commission put together by Robert Bosch Stiftung presented 99 recommended areas of action for Germany’s refugee policy, and also made suggestions with regard to improving integration. The main points are reflected in the country’s integration law, which recently went into effect. At the same time, the experts have supported pilot projects that show how social and cultural participation can succeed with innovative approaches.

 

Ute-Micaela Dürig, the CEO of Robert Bosch Stiftung

 

In order to promote European cohesion and thus the second focal point, the team has also created platforms that invite private citizens to take part in a constructive conversation about the continent’s future. One such platform was the “Europe 21” program highlight, which was organized on the occasion of the 2016 Leipzig book fair. At discussions, readings, and talks with authors, writers, scientists, journalists, and representatives of civil society discussed ways in which cross-border dialog could be organized.

The “Sustainable Living Spaces” focal point is closely linked to the Stiftung’s commitment to Africa. In cooperation with local partners, the Stiftung’s employees are committed to improving access to education across the continent and providing young people with a fair starting point. In 2016, the first science conference to take place in Africa marked an important milestone.

More information on Robert Bosch Stiftung’s new strategy can be found here.

 

All pictures by Manuel Frauendorf.

News | An alliance in the fight against cancer

Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Bosch Group join forces

In order to push cancer research in Germany forward, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (Robert Bosch Hospital), Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Bosch Group have joined forces and launched a number of initiatives. “When it comes to assuming social responsibility, Robert Bosch was a role model. He founded Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus in 1940. With this alliance in the fight against cancer, we are maintaining this commitment in the area of healthcare,” said Professor Joachim Rogall, CEO of Robert Bosch Stiftung. 

 

 

The partners are cooperating to build the new Robert Bosch Center for Tumor Diseases in Stuttgart. The center will be part of Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, and will be built in cooperation with the German Cancer Research Center. The partners signed a declaration of intent to this end on July 18, 2016.

In addition to the initial funding provided by Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Robert Bosch Stiftung is supporting the future research center with an additional 24 million euros. The aim of the center will be to develop individual cancer treatments by drawing on new findings. To achieve this, additional experts will support the medical management team, and two endowed professorships have been planned for further research activities.

 

 

The initiative is also committed to helping Bosch associates who have tumors. Over the course of the “OncoCure” initiative, they receive access to state-of-the-art cancer diagnostics at Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus. The Bosch Group makes one million euros available for the project each year. At present, the offer is available only to associates in Germany, but there are plans to give associates around the world access to it in the future. “Our aim is clear: with the help of precision diagnostics, we want to improve the odds of treating cancer successfully. This not only helps the affected associates as well as their families and friends, but also their colleagues at work,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, the CEO of Bosch.

After cardiovascular disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death. In Germany alone, some 224,000 people die of cancer each year. According to the World Health Organization, 20 million people will be diagnosed with cancer each year by 2025, up from 14 million in 2012.

More information on the alliance in the fight against cancer can be found here.

News | “This Works!”: Ideas to fight unemployment

Social entrepreneurs are developing employment concepts for southern Europe

New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung

Sandra Schürmann, the founder of JobAct, hopes to promote the strengths of unemployed youth while at the same time help them find a job. Her company offers a special drama program for job seekers that enables participants to develop their own plays. At the same time, those taking part in the program receive intensive job application training that is closely related to their theater work. Schürmann is one of twenty social entrepreneurs that receive funding from the “This Works!” initiative. On June 29, Schürmann and her counterparts presented their ideas to the public in Brussels.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the initiative in 2014 in cooperation with Ashoka, a non-profit organization. The aim is to apply successful employment concepts in southern European countries, where youth unemployment is high, and to provide young job seekers in Spain, Italy, and Greece with new prospects for the future. The initiative is based on the idea that Ashoka Europe and Ashoka national offices help social entrepreneurs find local partners who can then implement the concepts in their communities. The Robert Bosch Stiftung has spent almost one million euros on the “This Works!” initiative.

At the event in Brussels, which was attended by politicians and members of civil society, social entrepreneurs showed how many young people they have been able to help find work. Until now, more than 3,000 people have taken part in “This Works!” training seminars, and about 1,500 have found jobs. To conclude the event, participants discussed what is needed to successfully transfer ideas that promote social entrepreneurship to other countries. Factors include selecting the right partners abroad, taking local needs into account, and promoting knowledge sharing between companies and partners.

In the future, additional countries will also benefit from “This Works!”. Market studies are currently underway to assess whether the project could be rolled out in Portugal and Croatia to help fight youth unemployment in these two countries.

More information on the “This Works!” project can be found here.

More information on the Bosch apprenticeship program in southern Europe can be found here.