Ceremony for the 125th anniversary of the Carl Zeiss Foundation addressed by Chancellor Angela Merkel

Carl Zeiss Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Foundation is the sole shareholder of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. Its main function is to ensure the long-term future of the two foundation companies based on a pioneering spirit and responsible corporate governance, as well as the promotion of science.

A unique corporate model

Graphic showing the corporate structure of the Carl Zeiss Foundation

The Carl Zeiss Foundation is the sole shareholder of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG. The Foundation is not permitted to sell the shares of its two companies, as specified in the Foundation Statute. Because of this exceptional arrangement, ZEISS and SCHOTT have a unique company model.

A grand vision

Shaping the future with sustainability

The Carl Zeiss Foundation is one of the oldest company-affiliated foundations in Germany. Its main function is to ensure the long-term future of the two foundation companies and the promotion of science.

With the dividends of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG, the Carl Zeiss Foundation provides funding for research and teaching in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Funding is awarded to projects and individuals in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Thuringia – the federal states in which the foundation and the foundation companies are registered.  A foundation administration that is independent of the companies is responsible for all funding activities.

The Carl Zeiss Foundation was founded in 1889 in Jena, Germany, by physicist and entrepreneur Ernst Abbe with support from the founder of SCHOTT, Otto Schott. It is now one of the largest private foundations in Germany providing scientific funding.

Ernst Abbe, founder of the Carl Zeiss Foundation
Ernst Abbe (1840 – 1905),
founder of the Carl Zeiss Foundation
The primary goal of the foundation is to permanently safeguard the ZEISS and SCHOTT companies.
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