Technology group Bosch is investing around €310 million in a new basic research facility to conduct research on new materials, processes and technologies, new systems, components, and manufacturing processes.
The official opening of the new research campus is scheduled for the last quarter of the year.
Bosch, a supplier of technology and services, established its first institute for basic research exactly 50 years ago. The Forschungsinstitut Berlin (FIB) opened its doors on 1 April 1965, with just 26 associates who were tasked with basic research into semiconductor circuits.
The FIB was intended to study ''the physical and chemical principles of interfaces as well as thin films and surfaces.''
The FIB research center in Berlin no longer exists today. It was merged into the Technical Research Center in the 1970s, which became part of the advance engineering and engineering coordination corporate sector in 1980. The research center was closed and integrated into the institutes that preceded Bosch's current corporate research and advance engineering in the 1990s.
Bosch is now the world's leading supplier of micro-mechanical sensors (MEMS sensors, microelectromechanical systems). The company has produced more than five billion of these components, which are also made from semiconductor material. MEMS sensors can recognise the slightest movement and acceleration. Such sensors can be found in driver assistance systems, smart phones, and fitness trackers.
Other MEMS sensors optimise the air-fuel mix in engines to help reduce fuel consumption and ensure clean exhaust emissions.
The Bosch Group currently employs around 45,600 associates in research and development, roughly 1,300 of whom work in corporate advance engineering.
''Around the world, associates are developing not only new products, but also new manufacturing processes, materials, and software. This approach has resulted in a number of developments, including a process for drilling extremely tiny holes in the hardest of metals that won Bosch and its partners Trumpf and the University of Jena the German Future Prize in 2013.
''Bosch invested almost five billion euros in research and development in 2014, or around ten per cent of its sales. More than 90 development sites are located worldwide. Bosch applied for around 4,600 patents last year alone,'' Bosch said in a release.
The new research facility, which is coming up in Renningen, just outside Stuttgart, the company's global engineering hub, will house some 1,200 associates from corporate research and advance engineering. Renningen also will offer space for an additional 500 students and interns.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 290,000 associates generated sales of 48.9 billion euros in 2014.
The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries.
In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide.