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Bosch signs MoU with IISc to drive local innovation

Livemint:  November, 2015

New Delhi: In a bid to sharpen its focus on India-specific requirements, German automotive firm Bosch Gmbh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

The MoU, which was signed on 28 October, was exchanged between Bosch and IISc in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on Thursday.

This follows German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the Bosch facility in Bengaluru, as part of her three-day state visit to India last month, with focus on innovation and skills development.

While Bosch’s core strength has been the company’s ability to manufacture its products according to the needs of the Indian market at a competitive price, the firm has been increasing its focus on non-core areas such as energy and water for the last couple of years. The collaboration is expected to strengthen the company’s research and development in areas including mobility and healthcare in addition to energy, water and environmental protection.

“Based on this MoU, we intend to develop solutions that address key India-centric requirements. Innovation has always been a special strength of Bosch. This partnership between industry and academia further enforces our ties with the IISc and underlines our commitment towards local innovations, according to our slogan ‘Invented for life’,” said Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Group in India. “We expect to see positive results as we collaborate in research on areas of strategic interest, such as mobility, healthcare, energy and water.”

Many global companies, including automobile- and smartphone-makers, have been setting up expert teams in India to gauge the problems persisting in the country so as to understand the need of customers and address them.

Bosch collaboration with IISc started in 2011, when the company granted Rs.115 crore to IISc for a period of 10 years. This was a part of the company’s Rs.300 crore initiative ‘Bosch InterCampus Program’ that aimed to improve research conditions for undergraduates and scientists in the university sphere in Germany, China, India and the US over a 10-year period. The Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems that does research on concepts like Internet of Things and its applications in various fields was set up at IISc with this grant and is currently in its fourth year.

According to Anurag Kumar, director of IISc, the centre has “helped define a trail for industry-academia collaboration” and with this MoU, “Bosch is looking to engage in deeper research that will improve the quality of life in totality”.

“These partnerships symbolize Bosch’s innovation focus in India. It will increase our problem solving capabilities, and at the same time the collaboration will result in sharing our learnings for the benefit of society. I believe it is absolutely essential for the growth of innovation in India,” said Vijay Ratnaparkhe, president, Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions.