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Anita Bunk
Head of Communications

Bosch and University of St. Gallen collaborate

  • Goal is to develop specific applications and business models
  • First project to network users of electric vehicles
  • "Bosch IoTS lab" seeking additional PhD students

St.Gallen/Waiblingen, 03/01/2012 -

The Bosch Group and the University of St. Gallen (HSG) have founded the "Bosch internet of things & services lab – a cooperation of HSG and Bosch." It is hoped that this innovation laboratory will come up with business models for the internet of things and services and put them to the test. In addition, the think tank is to work on developing web-based products and services. It will open its doors on March 1, 2012, on the university’s campus. Initially comprising a team of three, the lab currently has vacancies for five additional PhD students, and will ultimately employ ten people from HSG and Bosch. Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, the Bosch Group’s software and systems unit, will provide the think tank with operational support. Its first major areas of research will be connected mobility and the smart networking of buildings. The first concrete results are expected as early as the fall of 2012.

"By collaborating closely with the University of St. Gallen, a respected institution, we are aiming to give scientists in Europe the freedom they need to test new approaches to the internet of things and services and transfer them to actual practice. We are hoping the think tank will provide us with major synergy effects and stimuli for new business models in these areas," said Dr. Heinz Derenbach, the president of Bosch Software Innovations. "What is important is to get the right people working on the right projects. That is why we are looking for outstanding PhD students who are brimful of enthusiasm for their ideas," said Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch, the scientific head of the Bosch IoTS lab and director of the university’s Institute for Technology Management (ITEM-HSG). At ITEM, Prof. Fleisch researches the economic impacts and infrastructures of ubiquitous computing. He is also a co-founder of several university spin-offs.

This means the Bosch IoTS lab will have access to an unrivalled combination of scientific theory and practice on the one hand and business administration and technology management on the other. HSG’s technology management area is currently collaborating with 50 different companies in the field of the internet of things and services. "We are working on problems from business for business," said Prof. Fleisch: "Because we work with several companies, and since the big questions are not specific to any one company, we can guarantee the scientists 100 percent freedom of movement in their research." In the future, HSG scientists and Bosch associates will work together at the Bosch IoTS lab on new offerings and business models for practical application in areas of importance for the future, such as connected mobility, connected energy / smart grids, the connected city, connected industry, and connected living.

Connected mobility already at the practical testing stage

Take Kristina Flüchter for example. The Bosch IoTS lab’s first PhD student is developing a business model that provides users of an web-enabled vehicle with information on tourist attractions, leisure pursuits, and available charge spots. The scientist can benefit from access to Bosch expertise in this area. In Singapore, for example, Bosch Software Innovations is currently using a software platform as an infrastructure for electric vehicles, and is expanding this infrastructure step by step. Its webbased eMobility Solution helps drivers to quickly find a vacant parking space with a charge spot – something that is particularly useful in megacities.

Focus on connected buildings

The IoTS lab’s second focus, connected buildings, is also a field in which the scientists can benefit from the expertise to be found in various Bosch business areas. These include Bosch Solar Energy (for energy supply), Bosch Thermotechnology (for heating and heat pumps), Bosch Security Systems (for data protection and access control), Bosch Healthcare (for telemedicine and emergency call systems), Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte (for household appliances), Bosch Software Innovations, or Bosch Energy and Building Systems (for energy management).

Present in Switzerland since 1920

Bosch has been present in Switzerland since 1920. Its operations there include Robert Bosch AG, Scintilla AG, Bosch Rexroth Schweiz AG, Buderus Heiztechnik AG, Bosch Packaging Systems AG, and sia Abrasives Industries AG. The Bosch Group companies in Switzerland employ some 3,300 associates and generated sales of around 1.4 billion Swiss francs (1.2 billion euros) in 2011.