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Franz Fehrenbach with kids
CSR

Learning for life: The Knowledge Factory (Wissensfabrik)

How Bosch associates support schoolchildren, students, and entrepreneurs with the Wissensfabrik

Clock 6 minutes

Bosch has been involved in the Wissensfabrik since it was founded in 2005. The initiative promotes entrepreneurship in Germany by supporting schoolchildren, students, and start-ups. The Stiftung is engaged in numerous partnerships that support education in the natural sciences. The initiative is based on the idea that knowledge and skills help secure a brighter future.

Logo Wissensfabrik

Sparking enthusiasm for technology

Three Bosch apprentices are standing around a table with a laptop on it. One of them is holding a cable in her hand.
Source: Wissensfabrik - Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V.

In cooperation with eight other companies, Bosch founded the Wissensfabrik (Knowledge Factory) some 13 years ago. The initiative aims to get children and young people interested in technology and technical professions. Until now, the initiative has cooperated with 2,900 schools, and more than 7,000 children and young people have taken part in KiTec, a program that introduces kids to technology. Over the course of this program, Bosch apprentices work on small projects with children at the participating schools and daycare centers, among them an insect hotel project. Apprentices have also contributed to the IT2School project, which teaches basic digital skills.

Bosch associates have supported Wissensfabrik with their commitment: some 100 associates, among them senior executives, as well as 500 apprentices, have taken part in the initiative across Germany. The company is currently engaged in some 300 educational partnerships with daycare centers and schools: associates volunteer to share their specialist knowledge and interest in their respective fields with children and young adults.

Promoting start-ups

Logo Wissensfabrik: Wissensfabrik: Unternehmen für Deutschland
Source: Wissensfabrik - Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V.

The Wissensfabrik is also geared toward students and young entrepreneurs. The Stiftung thus promotes innovative start-up ideas. In numerous projects, it has brought start-ups and established companies together and offered opportunities for intensive knowledge-sharing. For example, the “Weconomy” initiative offers young, creative company founders to take part in a competition and present their companies. Experienced Bosch executives, among them Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the supervisory board, are on hand to share their expertise. Moreover, the “Student2Start-Up” initiative brings start-up founders, experienced mentors, and students together and gives them an opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice with real-life case studies. The students come up with solutions to the challenges a start-up faces in its day-to-day activities. They then present their ideas and discuss their findings. At present, the Wissensfabrik is cooperating with six universities through this program.

Portrait of Franz Fehrenbach

Not only do we want the children to use technology, our aim is to make sure they also experience its benefits and understand it.

Franz Fehrenbach, honorary member of the steering committee of the Wissensfabrik and chairman of the supervisory board of Bosch

How the Wissensfabrik sparks interest in technology: the NaWi project

2005

the Wissensfabrik was founded.

130

companies have taken part.

2,900

schools cooperate with the Wissensfabrik.

70,000

children and young adults have taken part in projects throughout Germany.

270

start-ups have thus received the support of mentors.

Summary

To maintain its competitiveness in global markets, Germany must make sure that children are introduced to the natural sciences at an early age, and it must promote entrepreneurship and innovative ideas. The Wissensfabrik, which Bosch co-founded, aims to do just this. The initiative is committed to supporting children, young adults, and start-up founders by imparting knowledge in several projects. By complementing the state’s educational aims, the initiative contributes to promoting up-and-coming talent.

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