“I’d rather lose money
Such thoughts put Robert Bosch (1861–1942) far ahead of his time. An outstanding inventor and businessman, in 1886 he founded the “Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik“ in Stuttgart. In 1902 he filed a patent for a magnetic ignition for cars. In doing so, he demonstrated his intuitive feel for technologies hallmarked for the -future. In 1913 the company already had a workforce of 3,000 employees with its own apprentice workshop.
Bosch was also very socially and politically committed. As early as 1906 he introduced the eight-hour working day and paid above-average wages. He is said to have remarked “I don’t pay good wages because I have a lot of money, I have a lot of money because I pay good wages”. One of his dearest concerns was the further training and development of his employees, and he also founded many charitable institutions and actively promoted education, art and culture, natural and social sciences and the humanities.
Robert Bosch Foundation
“It is my intention, apart from the alleviation of all kinds of hardship, to promote the moral, physical and intellectual development of the people.” This was Robert Bosch’s message in 1935 to the company he had founded in the course of drawing up his will.
The corporation foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation with its headquarters in Stuttgart, has been in existence for over 40 years and is one of the major foundations in Germany and Europe. In 1964 the shares in the Robert Bosch GmbH from the Bosch family estate were transferred to a trust administration founded back in 1921 and which was renamed to its present form in 1969. The non-profit foundation holds a 92 per cent share of the registered capital of Robert Bosch GmbH, amounting to 1,200 million euros.
The purpose and mission of the foundation focuses on public healthcare, international reconciliation, welfare, education, art and culture as well as research and teaching in the humanities, social sciences and natural science. An average of around 800 internal and external projects are funded every year.