Victoria’s traditional strengths in engineering are proving a strong basis for innovation in the Internet of Things
At the recent Internet of Things Festival Conference in Melbourne, Gavin Smith, President of Bosch Australia talked about the transformation of the company’s business model, its plans for the future and the Internet of Things. The Bosch Australia headquarters in Victoria has recently undergone a $40m upgrade including new workshops, test facilities and offices in an eco-friendly environment. With new jobs and a focus on innovation, the company remains a key player in the ongoing growth of Victoria’s $35 billion tech industry.
Smith has a strong background in information technology, having worked in various multinationals in the Oceania region before joining Bosch in their Frankfurt office in the late 1980s. Since then he has seen the company evolve from a product manufacturer largely known for household goods, to a dynamic multifunctional enabler, offering connected services and products with unlimited applications in an ever-changing world.
With more than 600 employees at its Clayton facility in Melbourne’s south east, Bosch’s strategic focus has widened in recent years, creating ‘technologies to enhance quality of life’, across four key business sectors: mobility solutions; industrial technology; energy and building technology; and consumer goods.
Today around 75% of all smartphones have a Bosch IoT device embedded in them, as do most of Bosch’s consumer products. Smith explained that disruption has been the key motivator to Bosch’s transformation. “Airbnb is the world’s biggest hotel chain, but it has no rooms, Uber has no cars, Amazon has no bookshelves”, said Smith. “Ten years ago, we would never have imagined this environment”.
Taking a thing, connecting it and enabling it, by enhancing and expanding on its function, together with a digital service is Bosch’s modus operandi. One of the company’s most prolific ‘enablers’ is the miniature, low-powered sensor. Since 1995 Bosch has produced six billion of them and reduced the unit size to 1mm2, making them ubiquitous in smart phones, wearables, accelerometers and more.
Smith says the work is no longer in competition but in collaboration. “No-one can do it on their own anymore. Openness, sharing, interchange and exchange are all essential ingredients in the world of IoT”. This includes collaborative strategies such as Bosch’s recent investment in Tasmanian Agtech business The Yield – providing IoT solutions to Tasmanian oyster farmers, saving millions of dollars, simply by providing better water testing solutions. Smart cities are also a passion for the company, with commuter efficient innovations for rail networks and community parking, as well as energy saving solutions for street lighting.
A recent statement from Bosch Group’s CEO Dr Volkmar Denner, affirms their long-term vision. “Our strategic target is for all our electronic product categories to be IoT-enabled by 2020.” As you drill down into the detail of each of their sectors of operation, there are very few things we encounter in daily life that Bosch will have left untouched.
Victorian technology related organisations are invited to apply to participle in a targeted Industrial-Internet of Things trade mission to Hong Kong, Taipei and Shenzhen 13-18 August 2017.
Being part of this exciting Trade Mission will provide companies with access to tailored business matching meetings with potential partners, networking forums, site visits and market briefings on the IIoT ecosystem in each city. Trade Victoria is working with key IIoT focussed stakeholders in each city to co-organise this program.