You have a Clemson University pin on your lapel. You’re wearing a Clemson orange shirt, as well as a Shinola wristwatch in Clemson orange. What does Bosch get out of Clemson University?
We have a deep history with Clemson since they’re right there next to us in South Carolina. We get a tremendous number of co-op people from Clemson. Clemson is very good in the classic mechanical, electrical, industrial, manufacturing engineering areas. The business school is growing. Computer science is growing leaps and bounds there. We do several research projects with them through their International Center for Automotive Research. We did a big powertrain project with them around oxygen centers at our Anderson plant.
We also have a partnership with the University of South Carolina on the business school side. Bosch has a few deep relationships with universities. Carnegie Mellon is one. Stanford is another.
Did Bosch reach out to Clemson for academic support, or did the university come looking to its large technology neighbor?
We’ve been in South Carolina a long time, and in our early days there, it was more a case of the company approaching the local academic institutions about what we needed.
We now have 4,400 people in South Carolina in manufacturing, in Anderson and Charleston. It’s the largest cluster of people we have in the United States.
With Clemson, our engagement has grown in recent years, and that’s a reflection of the individuals at the university. The new dean of engineering, Anand Gramopadhye, is very interested in listening to industry about what it needs. He created an industrial advisory board to listen to business, and I sit on that board. South Carolina sees Clemson as a major economic development tool to help companies succeed in the state.
To what degree is Bosch continuing to invest in the area?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve invested $450 million in our South Carolina plants to prepare for new products. With the recent dissolution of a partnership [with Denso] we had there, AFCO, we purchased the property it occupies, and we’ll use that now for electronics expansion.