International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Your perspective



Dr. Franz Fehrenbach

Chairman, Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH


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"Not to participate in international
standardization - for any
company - is a big mistake.
We have to participate first of all
for our own benefit but also for the
benefit of our customers."
Dr. Franz Fehrenbach

Interview Stuttgart, September 2010

Global access

Asked why Bosch participates in IEC standardization work, Dr. Fehrenbach explains: "If you are an international company as we are, and active in all markets around the world, I think you realize how important it is to have standardization in the market. We are convinced that if we don’t have standardization in the different markets we waste a lot of effort and money. So we have to participate first of all for our own benefit but also for the benefit of our customers. They can be sure that we fulfil international standards and they can be sure to have real tangible benefit."

Strategically important to reduce efforts and cost

Dr. Fehrenbach’s message to companies who don’t participate in standardization: "Not to participate in international standardization - for any company - is a big mistake. You have to imagine what kind of double work you have to do, what kind of additional efforts you have to spend when you have different standards in different markets. You can use these efforts much better for the real development instead of fighting with different standards in different markets. I think this is really short term thinking."

Intellectual property is nothing without market access

There are companies who fear for their IP and therefore don’t want to participate in international standardization. To this Dr. Fehrenbach replies: "There are many companies, and we are also one of them, who are spending a lot of R&D effort for development work. At the same time we have to realize that this is to build markets. To really bring this development work to the market we need standardization. Products have to fulfil special legislation requirements and have to be in compliance with those requirements when you want to sell and use them. Intellectual property alone doesn’t help you. You can have a huge intellectual property pool, but you have no access to the market, if you don’t have standardization. And that’s why we have to internationalize that."

International standards are better

Dr. Fehrenbach expressed his uneasiness regarding the proliferation of national and industry standards and explained why he feels international standards are the better approach: "We are very concerned about this development. We see that there are regional and smaller organizations that try to organize things and I think that’s the totally wrong way. We need to involve the global standardization organizations, which prepare the standards and requirements for all the markets around the world."

About Bosch

Founded in 1886 by Robert Bosch, the Bosch Group is today a leading global supplier of technology and services in the areas of automotive, industrial, building and consumer goods. Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries, regional companies, sales and service partners are represented in over 150 countries.

Associates: 275 000
Sales: 38,2 billion euros in fiscal 2009 Research and development: each year 3 800 patent applications worldwide, investment of 3,5 billion euros/ year

Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. This structure allows the company to plan and invest long-term, safe-guarding its future.