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Bosch inaugurates technology center in Braga, Portugal

Published 01 June 2018

German automotive supplier Bosch has inaugurated a new technology center in Braga, Portugal to develop sensors and software functions for automated driving.

The new center was inaugurated by German chancellor Angela Merkel, Portugal prime minister António Costa and Bosch board of management member Dirk Hoheisel.

By the end of this year, over 200 engineers will be working on developing sensors and software functions for automated driving at the location, which is situated about 50 km northeast of the coastal city of Porto.

100 new jobs will be created at the center. Some 100 associates have already transferred to the new 4,500 m2 technology center from the company’s main site, which is located four kilometers away. The German chancellor was in Portugal for talks on the development of German-Portuguese relations.

In his speech, Portuguese prime minister Costa welcomed the opening of Bosch’s new technology center in his country. He said: “Portugal stands for innovative strength. Investments like the one Bosch has made here underscore this.”

Political VIPs at Bosch: chancellor Merkel and prime minister Costa open technology center in Portugal

“Our associates here will contribute to one of the key projects of future importance – the development of automated driving. ”

Robert Bosch management board member Dirk Hoheisel said: “Our new technology center in Braga is another indicator of the great potential we see in Portugal. It also reflects our confidence in the expertise of Portuguese engineers.

“I am particularly pleased that our associates here will be able to make an even greater contribution to one of the key projects of future importance – the development of automated driving.”

In recent years, Bosch has significantly expanded its presence in Portugal: between 2015 and 2017, it spent more than €200m strengthening its activities there in the field of connected and automated mobility. In 2018, investments are expected to match the high levels of previous years.

Bosch in Braga: solutions for tomorrow’s mobility

The international supplier of technology and services currently employs more than 3,000 associates at its Braga location – around 1,000 more than just five years ago. The majority are involved in the development and manufacture of components for connected mobility, including technology for user-friendly display systems and infotainment.

Among these is the eCall automatic emergency notification system for two-wheelers. If the vehicle is involved in an accident, the system automatically places a call for help. Particularly for motorcyclists, who have a much higher risk than car drivers of being involved in an accident, the system can mean the difference between life and death.

About ten percent of associates at the Braga location work on developing components for automated mobility. In addition to developing and manufacturing sensors for vehicle safety systems like the ESP electronic stability program, the location also produces sensors that can, for instance, accurately determine the position of self-driving cars.

In addition, the Bosch location in Braga has a longstanding research partnership with the local University of Minho, one of the country’s top universities. In a joint project with the university, the new technology center will also conduct research into sensors for automated driving. This partnership is scheduled to commence this year and continue for three years.

Bosch Portugal: growing importance in the global engineering and manufacturing network

Portugal is a key location within Bosch’s global engineering and manufacturing network. The company has had a presence in Portugal since 1911 and currently employs more than 4,500 associates at four locations. 500 of Bosch’s Portuguese associates work in R&D.

In 2017, Bosch generated sales of around €240m in the Portuguese market. Including deliveries to other Bosch companies, the total sales figure was €1.5bn. Opened in 1990, the Braga plant is Bosch’s largest in Portugal. In Aveiro, Bosch’s Thermotechnology division develops and manufactures hot-water heaters, heat pumps, and heating appliances for private households.

Ovar, the company’s third location in Portugal, is home to a manufacturing site as well as development activities of Bosch’s Building Technologies division. Video and fire alarm systems are one focus of activity at the site. Bosch’s regional headquarters in Lisbon is home to the company’s administrative as well as sales and marketing activities.

Source: Company Press Release