Bosch awards two start-ups for oustanding collaboration

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 May 2019


Winner Hesai Photonics Technology. L-R: David Li, CEO of Hesai Photonics Technology; Dr Michael Bolle, CDO and CTO of Bosch, and Jumana Al-Sibai, Bosch Chassis Systems Control.

The Bosch Group has recognised Code Intelligence GmbH (Code Intelligence) and Hesai Photonics Technology Co (Hesai) with the ‘Open Bosch Award’ for best start-up collaboration. This marks the first time the supplier of technology and services has honoured outstanding performance in open innovation between Bosch and start-ups.

Code Intelligence, a start-up based in Bonn, Germany, provides automated security-testing solutions for software. Hesai is a Shanghai-based start-up that designs and manufactures sensor technology that allows automated vehicles to see their surroundings in 3D with high resolution.

“Partnerships are vital in a connected world,” emphasises Dr Michael Bolle, chief digital and technology officer at Bosch. “With the Open Bosch Award, we honour the best start-up collaboration worldwide.” Studies show that open innovation approaches boost efficiency in innovation processes by 60 to 90 percent. Currently, Bosch is running several hundred start-up collaborations across all business areas, the majority of these focusing on the mobility sector.

For the Open Bosch Award, the main criteria are mutual benefit for all parties involved, best practice character in terms of set-up, approach and commitment, as well as outcome in means of measurable impact. The awards ceremony took place at the Bosch Connected World in Berlin.

Partnerships boost likelihood of success
In a technology-fueled world with accelerating innovation cycles, Bosch says it is fusing ideas and competencies beyond company borders to best serve its customers. Start-ups play an important role as they are also often first-movers, taking high risks and being equipped with significant resources. At the same time, leading start-ups can benefit from Bosch assets and competencies, e.g. industrialization, market access or branding.

While the combination of a start-up and the industrial power of Bosch results in a benefit for all parties involved: customer, start-up and Bosch, a partnership can create new challenges as well. “Sometimes start-ups pivot and sometimes Bosch innovation projects change their direction. However, we realize that a great collaboration significantly increases the likelihood for success for everyone involved,” says Bolle.

L-R: Rakshith Amarnath, Bosch Corporate Research, DrMichael Bolle, CDO and CTO of Bosch, and Sergej Dechand, Founder of Code Intelligence GmbH.

Code Intelligence: Preventing cyber attacks
One of the awardees is Code Intelligence, a German start-up based in Bonn in combination with a team from Bosch Corporate Research. Code Intelligence demonstrated its expertise by developing a scalable approach to automate security tests for connected products based on coverage-based fuzzing. The close collaboration enabled the team to produce tangible results within a very short time frame of only two months.

“Such software security testing approaches have uncovered vulnerabilities in open source projects. The connectivity based products of the future need such measures and Bosch’s embracement of them is an example of how we proactively ensure security in our products,” explains Rakshith Amarnath, project leader at Bosch Corporate Research. Dr. Henning Perl, CTO of Code Intelligence, points out the benefits. “Through the cooperation we gained valuable insights on industrial requirements and received a unique entry point into the automotive and the connected industry divisions of Bosch.” The team continues to cooperate on automating software-security tests.

Hesai Photonics Technology: Realising Automated Driving
Another awardee is Hesai together with a team from Bosch in the field of automated driving. In 2017, Hesai successfully participated in the Bosch AI in Auto accelerator in China, which helped to deepen the relationship and align interests. From the very beginning, both parties shared a common vision. “We constantly scan the market for solutions that serve best our efforts of making automated driving a reality. In this case, we now also use Hesai’s technology in our development vehicles to approach this challenge”, states Jumana Al-Sibai, Executive Vice President at Bosch Chassis Systems Control. “We are very fortunate to have the privilege of working with the world’s largest automotive supplier at an early stage and we have benefited tremendously from Bosch’s valuable insights”, adds David Li, the CEO and co-founder of Hesai.

The Open Bosch Award values the importance of open innovation through close collaboration between start-ups and Bosch. The award is organized by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC). RBVC invests in start-ups and also connects them to the Bosch group. To support early engagement RBVC established a venture client unit called ‘Open Bosch’ that systematically enables partnerships.

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