Christine Fuhr, SCHOTT GLAS, Mainz
Funds for Research
SCHOTT invests around 100 million euros in research and development every year. A considerable amount of support is also provided for external scientific work. Board member Dr. Udo Ungeheuer is responsible for research. Here he discusses the motivation behind and prospects for SCHOTT’s research activities.
There is a long tradition of support for research at SCHOTT. Why does this money go to outside institutions?
Dr. Ungeheuer: Our close links with science and research have their origins in our corporate history. The company was established in 1884 as a “Glass Technology Laboratory”. Since that time, applications-oriented research and involvement with high-technology based on special glass have been of central importance. Further, we are committed by our corporate constitution, the statute of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung, to provide support for major areas of science and technology not only within the foundation’s businesses, but also outside. We are fully committed to this obligation.
Why was the Otto SCHOTT Research Prize for Glass Science created?
Dr. Ungeheuer: In 1988 the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung established the Ernst Abbe Fund and provided it with one million euros. The fund is used to finance the Otto SCHOTT and Carl Zeiss Research Prizes, each worth 25,000 euros. They are awarded each year on an alternating basis to provide motivational support for cooperation between industry and science. With the Otto SCHOTT Research Prize, our aim is to make a wider public aware of outstanding scientific achievements in the whole field of glass and glass-ceramics in basic research and application and to promote knowledge about the importance of glass science for technical progress. The work honored reflects the internationally high level in the field of glass science.
What does SCHOTT get out of this external commitment?
Dr. Ungeheuer: Our aim is to establish more intensive dialogue and cooperation with scientists outside our company and to set up new contacts. Our R&D departments are currently working together with more than 150 scientific partners from universities, institutes and industrial concerns in Germany and other countries.
At the same time the universities give us new impetus from the results of their research work. This cooperation has led more than a few academics to industry and to us.