Stuttgart and Tübingen, Germany − Bosch plans to ramp up its activities in the emerging technology of artificial intelligence (AI): in Tübingen in Germany’s Cyber Valley, the supplier of technology and services intends to invest some 35 million euros in a new “Bosch AI Campus.” Bosch is currently in talks with the city of Tübingen to negotiate the purchase of a roughly 12,000 square-meter plot on which to build the campus. The move into the new research complex is planned for the end of 2022. Roughly 700 experts will work on applied AI there. “Bosch aims to be among the global leaders in industrial AI research,” said Bosch CDO/CTO Dr. Michael Bolle. “The new Bosch AI Campus will bring us a step closer to achieving this goal.”
Space for startups and in-depth exchange
The Bosch AI Campus in Tübingen will be situated close to the research facilities of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Tübingen’s AI research building. Besides laboratories and offices, the campus will offer spaces in which startups and external AI research groups can take up temporary residence. Freely accessible areas on the first floor of the campus will serve to foster exchange among Cyber Valley experts. Other parts of the facility will also be open to the public. “In the new building, experts from the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence (BCAI) will work on projects together with experts from other Bosch divisions and from startups. The campus structure will do a lot to foster an exchange of ideas,” Bolle said.
Bosch is a founding member of Cyber Valley, which was established in 2016. This joint research venture brings together partners from industry, academia, and politics to drive forward AI research in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The idea is to quickly transfer research findings into real-world industrial applications. “Excellence clusters like Cyber Valley are important, as they make Germany even more attractive to top AI experts and strengthen our position in international competition,” Bolle continued. “The Bosch AI Campus also enhances Baden-Württemberg’s international appeal as an AI hub.”
From research to practical application
Bosch is researching artificial intelligence that is safe, robust, and explainable. Its investment in the new AI campus is yet another step by the company to strengthen AI research in Cyber Valley. Last year, Professor Matthias Hein was appointed to a Bosch-endowed chair at the University of Tübingen. The company sponsors two Industry on Campus professorships, which allow the university to integrate practical industrial expertise into its research and teaching.
These professorships focus on the issues that arise when preparing for industrial applications. One example is predictive diagnostics, which makes it possible to predict machine breakdowns long before a fault actually occurs. Well-timed maintenance can avoid protracted machine downtimes. Predictive diagnostics is an example of machine learning, which is the focus of the research conducted at the BCAI. Currently, the BCAI has some 200 associates at a total of six locations in Germany, the United States, India, and Israel.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.
The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.