Announcing the grand opening of its Research and Technology Center (RTC) in Sunnyvale, Calif., on April 4, Bosch said that the heart of its presence in Silicon Valley “is a long-standing relationship with the local academic community.”
The company wants to remain in the area, which has transformed to nearly a $3 trillion ecosystem of business, in order to continue to tap into the region’s reputation for advanced research as well as active business and venture capital activities
Since 1999, Bosch’s presence in Silicon Valley has grown to include nine Bosch business divisions spanning the Bosch Group portfolio. Also part of the Bosch footprint in Sunnyvale is Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC) GmbH, the Bosch Group’s venture capital organization.
“The new RTC represents the maturity of our presence in Silicon Valley after nearly 20 years in the market,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. “We have envisioned technology like automated driving and artificial intelligence as part of our history in the Valley.”
The new 104,000-square-foot office, which represents a $40 million commitment over a 10-year lease, is currently home to 200 team members and can house up to 300 associates. It features research labs, workshops and garage space for advanced research. The office space mirrors the company’s philosophy of "Inspiring Working Conditions", which focuses on collaborative technology and workspaces that foster innovation, collaboration and creativity.
Part of that creativity is the continuation of a long-standing relationship with Stanford University. In 2008, Bosch endowed a chair at Stanford, known as the Robert Bosch Chairmanship of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and that same year was a founding member of the Stanford University CarLab, an initiative focused on interdisciplinary research into automotive vehicle safety, the environment and enjoyable transportation.
The Bosch RTC has worked with Stanford graduate students on a number of different technologies, including high-efficiency internal combustion engine concepts, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors, autonomous driving and natural language understanding.
The company also supports STEM education. On April 4 the Bosch Community Fund awarded $75,000 in grants to the Sunnyvale Education Foundation in support of STEM education programs for elementary and middle schools within the Sunnyvale School District. Schools will utilize the funds for lab and makerspace equipment, curricular materials, teacher training and other STEM programmatic support.