The Robert Bosch Stiftung

Annual Report 2015

Dear Reader,

Not only for the Robert Bosch Stiftung was 2015 a year of major challenges and upheaval. Seldom before have external events had such a drastic effect on the working environment of the Foundation and shown us so clearly that - in order to achieve the desired societal relevance and impact - we have to continuously adapt our strategy to the changing conditions.

This was most clearly demonstrated by the topic of refugees. For decades now, the Robert Bosch Stiftung has supported integration projects in the broader sense; in 2005 it had already established its own programmatic focus on migration and integration by carrying out projects and programs on the topic of flight and asylum. The focus here was on strengthening social cohesion and the development of long-term and sustainable strategies for the integration and participation of refugees. Moreover, in March 2015, when the dramatic increase in numbers of refugees could not yet be foreseen, we assembled the Robert Bosch Expert Commission to Consider a Realignment of Refugee Policy. Under the leadership of Armin Laschet, ten high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics, business, and society were tasked with developing concrete proposals for reform measures to Germany’s refugee policies.

The Final Report of the Commission Contains 99 Recommended Actions

However, beginning in the summer of 2015, the commission’s working schedule was quickly overtaken by the dynamic development of the number of refugees and the rapid changes in the legal framework. In response to this, the commission adjusted its approach and published the results on various topics in advance as so-called thematic dossiers. In this manner, the commission was able to provide valuable impetus for the improvement of refugee policy in the fields of language acquisition, education, health, and living before the conclusion of 2015. The final report, which was presented at the beginning of April 2016, contains a total of 99 recommended actions.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has established itself as a significant civil organization in this realm thanks to the commission, additional studies, and the numerous practical projects that provide concrete support for integration and cohabitation directly in the communities. The examination of the consequences of flight and migration also showed us that solidarity in our country is not to be taken for granted. In addition to the constitution, we are also connected by shared values and customs. Precisely which ones those are, and whether and how they should change in the face of the growing cultural and religious diversity in our country, must be continuously addressed by our society. The Robert Bosch Stiftung considers itself to be tasked with supporting this discourse and with ensuring that as many people as possible take part, regardless of their heritage.

But the refugee crisis is by no means the lone external factor that influenced the work of the Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2015. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine - which was pacified, although superficially at best, by the Minsk II agreement - demonstrates that the tasks of international understanding have grown, especially in Europe and at its borders. For the Robert Bosch Stiftung, this development was the impetus behind its strengthening of efforts in Eastern Europe and Russia and - whenever possible - bringing citizens from these regions into direct contact. One example of these efforts is the journalist program Perspektivy that is being carried out together with the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation. The program offers workshops and research grants for Russian-speaking journalists from the abovementioned regions. The objective is to strengthen balanced and varied reporting and to build up cross-border contacts between media outlets. The Perspektivy program is a success and is receiving very good feedback from the target group, which is no sure thing given the state’s repression of both critical journalists as well as domestic and foreign civic organizations in Russia.

More Than 130,000 Participants at the German-Russian Youth Exchange

During the previous years, the Foundation for German-Russian Youth Exchange has become an important pillar in German-Russian collaboration. In addition to the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the foundation is supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations. Since its establishment in 2006, the foundation has helped more than 130,000 young people and educational professionals from Germany and Russia come into contact with the other country and its respective people, language, and culture. For the first time, the 2015/2016 year has been given a theme. With the title of "70 Jahre nach Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges: Jugendaustausch - Verständigung - gemeinsame Zukunft" ("70 years after the end of World War II: youth exchange - understanding - shared future"), students and young people are meant to deal with the memory of the Second World War in an intensive manner. The economic crisis in southern Europe and its consequences also kept us busy in 2015. Many cultural institutions are facing a shutdown because the public budgets in the countries of this region are subject to enormous limitations. In Greece in particular, young people who have embarked on a career in this field are struggling to find work. The START project that began in September 2015 is offering them an opportunity. Scholarships allow young people to take part in the worlds of culture and society and, at the same time, to become qualified for a career in international cultural management. It begins with a two-week training course in Germany, followed by a four-week guest placement at a German cultural institution. The participants can then carry out their own project in Greece. The START program, carried out in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut in Thessaloniki and the Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V., not only contributes to young cultural managers becoming motors for change in Greek society, but is also a sign for solidarity in practice in Europe.

As part of another program that received special recognition in 2015, the Foundation advocates for unemployed young people in southern Europe. The Center for European Trainees (CET) was awarded the Theodor Heuss Medal for 2015. The consulting center, which we fund together with employers in Baden-Württemberg, supports trainees from Spain and Italy in finding their way in their new environments in Germany. At the same time, the CET advises companies that would like to take on trainees from southern Europe and is the point of contact for foreign companies and agencies.

While the Foundation was directly affected by current developments and crises as regards the topics mentioned, and its work had to be adapted to them, there are other topics for which we were able to actively set new priorities in order to work on forward-looking solutions to future issues.

PORT - Local, Comprehensive, and Outstanding Health Centers

The area of health underwent a realignment. With the PORT - Patient-Oriented Centers for Primary and Long-Term Care program, the Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to increasingly support the development and setting up of local, comprehensive, and outstanding health centers in Germany. PORT centers are a future-oriented response to the growing number of people with chronic illnesses and their complex health care needs, even in rural areas with a diminishing number of care professionals. At the same time, they meet the need for outpatient care for the entire population. After more than ten years of support and numerous projects, the Foundation ended its commitment for quality palliative practice in Germany. At the symposium in Berlin in October 2015, the Foundation took stock and - in the presence of Health Minister Hermann Gröhe - presented an impressive summary of the knowledge gained as well as recommendations.

In the field of science, the Robert Bosch Stiftung concentrated more intensively on the topic of sustainability in 2015. In March, environmental and resource economist Dr. Björn Vollan was distinguished as a Robert Bosch Junior Professor; this designation includes one million euros of research funds. Over the next five years, Dr. Vollan will conduct research at Philipps-Universität Marburg using these resources. His research will focus on how climate change impacts the behavior of affected people. The research will examine, among other questions, what will happen when entire populations are faced with an uncertain future due to extreme weather phenomena such as drought or flooding, and how the handling of natural resources is changing.

The low proportion of women on academic boards and in leadership positions still leaves much to be desired. In order to change this, the Robert Bosch Stiftung established the AcademiaNet platform, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in November 2015. It contains the profiles of more than 2,000 outstanding female scientists who were recommended by leading scientific organizations. Thanks to AcademiaNet, the excuse of "well, we would like to appoint a woman, but we can’t find one" can no longer be used. And this makes Chancellor Merkel happy: she sent a video message for the occasion of the anniversary.

Spreading Ideas and Concepts for Quality Education across Borders

The World Education Summit - an international educational conference held on May 8, 2015, in Berlin - was a high point for the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s education area. At the Foundation’s Berlin Office, around 70 experts from around the world discussed how the cross-border dissemination of existing ideas and innovative concepts for quality education can be achieved. Participants of the conference included high-ranking representatives of foundations and nongovernmental organizations, education researchers, and politicians, as well as teachers and students.

The German School Award also pursues this idea - the spread of good practices - on the national level. Each year, the jury recognizes Germany’s best schools. The award shows that there are schools here in Germany that are doing excellent work under the respective circumstances, and it also motivates other schools to do the same. The German School Award’s six areas of quality have established themselves as recognized benchmarks for good schools. In 2015, the main prize went to the Gesamtschule Barmen in Wuppertal. Despite its location in a societal hot spot, the school generated very good results in comparative tests and, for years now, no student has left the school without graduating. The award was presented by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In order to improve and systematically organize the dissemination of the good concepts and the experiences of German School Award winners, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, together with the Heidehof Stiftung, founded the German School Academy, which began its work in April 2015. Since then, the academy has been making materials available for good educational practices, offering advice on questions of school and lesson development, and organizing innovative training courses for teachers and school administrators. To this end, the academy is working together with ministries, institutes for teacher training, communities, and private school patrons.

Experience Abroad for All Young People in Germany

In the fall of 2015, the Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the "Auslandserfahrung bringt’s!" ("experience abroad does it!") campaign. For this campaign, the Foundation combined its activities surrounding international education. The campaign’s objective is a framework that would, in the future, make it possible for all young people in Germany to gather experience abroad. The campaign was kicked off at the "Austausch macht Schule" ("exchange makes the school experience") event, where around 160 experts from the fields of education, administration, politics, youth work, and civil society discussed how international education can become an integral part of the school curriculum. They developed recommendations that were passed on to the Kultusministerkonferenz (the standing conference of the ministers of education and cultural affairs in Germany). A mere two weeks later, alumni from the "kulturweit" exchange program organized by UNESCO and the Robert Bosch Stiftung came together to share their experiences abroad. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was also present. "We want to encourage more young people to become bridge builders!" - this was his message to the participants.

In November 2015, the Berlin Office of the Robert Bosch Stiftung organized the Richard von Weizsäcker Forum for the first time. In remembrance of the former federal president and trustee of the Foundation, renowned experts and decision-makers held discussions over two days on the importance of political leadership, Germany’s responsibilities, and mutual solutions for global conflicts and crises. The forum kicked off a meeting of current and former Richard von Weizsäcker Fellows from the Robert Bosch Academy; this meeting will take place in regular intervals in the future. The refugee crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, and climate change were all part of the subject matter of the discussions at this first forum.

You can find extensive information on the strategies regarding various topics, the individual projects, and the developments at our subsidiary institutions at any time on our website and/or the websites of the institutions.

For the Robert Bosch Stiftung, 2015 was characterized by change and new direction internally as well. After 12 years at the head of the Foundation, Dr. Ingrid Hamm left the Board of Management as of June 30, having reached the maximum age. She helped to shape the Robert Bosch Stiftung and, in the process, further developed its content and structure.

As a new team in the Board of Management, we began a process of strategic development in the summer of 2015. The primary focus was on the direction of the Robert Bosch Stiftung with regards to content. For which of the current challenges can the Foundation have an impact? What is the proper strategy for us to achieve the best possible and sustainable results in the respective areas of support? Which existing competences can we rely on, and which possibly need to be established or expanded? It was concluded that the Robert Bosch Stiftung will continue to be active in supporting the areas of international relations, health, education, science, and society. Moreover, in the coming years, the Foundation will increasingly direct its activities across all areas of support on three focus areas:
  • Future-oriented living environments
  • Social cohesion in Germany and Europe
  • Migration, integration, and inclusion

We are convinced that this focus on current challenges is the proper and necessary way to ensure that, even in the future, the Robert Bosch Stiftung can meet its standard of helping to shape society.

We would like to thank all of the employees and partners of the Foundation who have supported our work with such commitment throughout 2015.

Uta-Micaela Dürig                                Prof. Dr. Joachim Rogall

Picture Gallery

Take a look at some of the photos of our projects and events from 2015. The photos show highlights such as the award ceremony for the Film Prize for International Cooperation, the World Education Summit, the Media Forum China - Germany, and the first ever Stuttgart Dialog with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
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Photos of the Year

Foundation in Figures

The annual financial statement as of December 31, 2015, which was prepared in accordance with commercial accounting rules, was reviewed by the auditing firm KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and given an unqualified auditor’s opinion. Accordingly, the annual financial statement provides a fair and accurate view of the current net assets, financial position, and results of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, taking into account the principles of sound accounting.

The share held by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH in the capital stock of Robert Bosch GmbH remained unchanged at 92 %, or 5,055 million euros. The foundation received dividends of 90.7 million euros from this share, as it did last year. In total, 106.1 million euros were available.

In the 2015 reporting year, dependent foundations had inflows from interest income and other income in the amount of 2.5 million euros.

Approvals granted by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Management of the foundation for third-party and internal projects amounted to 65.1 million euros. This also includes the 10.1 million euros in funding provided for research at the Robert Bosch Hospital, the Dr. Margarete Fischer Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology, and the Institute for the History of Medicine.

A total of 8.5 million euros was used for special measures and investments in the Robert Bosch Hospital that were not covered by the funding provided by the state under the Krankenhausfinanzierungsgesetz ("hospital financing act" - KHG).

The UWC Robert Bosch College was supported with 1.0 million euros for investments and operational costs, the German School Academy was supported with 0.5 million euros. Dependent foundations promoted projects in the amount of 1.6 million euros.

A total of 23.2 million euros was spent on staff, administration, and communication during the reporting year.