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Voith celebrates its 150th anniversary and donates EUR 12 million to Cooperative State University Heidenheim

  • EUR 30 million in total for planned extension of Cooperative State University Heidenheim
  • Grand celebration: more than 400 guests, including Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann and German Federal Finance Minister Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, celebrate high point of Voith’s anniversary year
  • Some 19,000 employees celebrate the anniversary year across the globe at all 160 locations
Heidenheim. In honor of its 150th anniversary, Voith GmbH is donating EUR 12 million for a planned extension to Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Heidenheim. The city of Heidenheim has guaranteed a further EUR 8 million provided by local companies and institutions. “The state of Baden-Württemberg is going to increase this amount by another EUR 10 million. By pledging this money, we are all demonstrating a strong commitment to Heidenheim as a place of business and a center of higher education,” Minister-President Kretschmann said on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Heidenheim. “Through their interaction with companies, cities and the state of Baden-Württemberg, regional forces, such as those in Heidenheim, contribute significantly to the success of our state’s economy. Well-educated young people, an innovative spirit and research at the highest level are undoubtedly the crucial foundation for a bright future. Baden-Württemberg needs strong partners, and it seeks to be a strong partner as well.”

DHBW Heidenheim currently has 2,380 students pursuing degrees in the fields of economy, technology, social services, healthcare and computer science. Dr. Hubert Lienhard, President & CEO, and Bernhard Ilg, Mayor of Heidenheim, personally presented the major donation to the Minister-President. “In our anniversary year, we are consciously setting our sights ahead on the technologies and requirements of the digital age. Education is a key to innovative power. That is why we are pleased that we can live up to our role as a promoter of knowledge, education and innovation by supporting the university in Heidenheim, and thereby underscore our close relationship with the town, which is home to our headquarters,” said Dr. Hubert Lienhard, President & CEO of Voith GmbH. Mayor Bernhard Ilg added, “For me, the greatest wish of my time as mayor is now becoming a reality with the extension of the university.”

Minister of Science Theresia Bauer highlighted: “The new building provides the DHBW with a platform to connect the university, industry and civil society. I would like to thank the company Voith for its donation, which opens up excellent development prospects to the location Heidenheim.” The donation and financial commitment from the state will make it possible for DHBW Heidenheim to build a teaching and research building with approximately 4,450 m2 of usable space. The extension will mean a lasting improvement in the working conditions of students and instructors alike in the long term. Of the approximately 4,450 m2 of usable space, some 900 m2 is earmarked for Zukunftsakademie Heidenheim e.V., which is an association through which the city of Heidenheim aims to strengthen Heidenheim as a center of higher education.

Ceremony in Heidenheim is the high point of the anniversary year

More than 400 international guests including Winfried Kretschmann, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance, Dr. Eric Schweitzer, President of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Hans-Walter Peters, President of the Association of German Banks and approximately 30 shareholders in the family company celebrated Voith’s 150-year history. “When a company is 150 years old, has survived two world wars and numerous periods of economic turbulence, remains successful and has had a continuously active market presence, then there a lot is fundamentally right with that company,” said Lienhard. Voith’s 19,000 employees have already celebrated the anniversary at more than 260 employee and family celebrations at approximately 160 locations, each with a strong local flavor. The highlights included employee celebrations at the most important locations worldwide, including Kunshan (China), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and York (USA). They will follow by the employee party and family day at the headquarters in Heidenheim, with approximately 16,000 participants. That brought to the total number of guests who have celebrated Voith's anniversary year at its various locations around the world to more than 65,000.

The ceremony in Heidenheim was the high point of the Voith anniversary year, which has the motto “Welcome to the Next 150 Years.” In line with that motto, the focus of the ceremony was on the future orientation of the German manufacturing sector in the digital age. “Our aspiration is to follow the example set by our founding father Friedrich Voith, who was a pioneer in the first industrial revolution. We want to use the same innovative and creative strength to make the current fourth industrial revolution, the merging of mechanical and digital technology, accessible to our customers. We have made good progress towards that goal in our anniversary year,” said Lienhard. In 2015, Voith established its new Voith Digital Solutions corporate division, which has 1,500 employees and consolidates all the company’s digital activities. Just a few weeks ago, the company announced the founding of the world’s first digital marketplace for used paper in Los Angeles. Over the next two business years, Voith will invest a total of approximately EUR 100 million in developing its digital product and service offering. Along with that investment in organic growth, the company also plans to strengthen this business area by means of acquisitions. The successful acquisition of a majority shareholding in the Munich-based digital service provider Ray-Sono in May this year was a step in that direction. “Voith's 150-year corporate history is characterized by courage and innovative strength. Its orientation towards values such as sustainability and responsibility is pervasive and tangible, both in Heidenheim and the global Voith Group,” said Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, summing up Voith's development. “The company is not only a shining example of the tradition of mechanical and plant engineering in Baden-Württemberg, but also exemplifies the future of the mechanical engineering industry, the very highest level of technology and an industry that has embraced the challenges of digitization,” he added.

Charitable engagement in the anniversary year

Along with the major donation announced today, Voith is supporting numerous charitable initiatives at the local level in its anniversary year. The “150 Good Causes” campaign gave Voith’s employees around the world the opportunity to donate EUR 1,000 to a local project in the fields of science and education, sport and culture, or social initiatives.

In the anniversary year, Voith is also contributing to the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) with a donation of EUR 150,000. That money will support schoolgirls in Tanzania, helping them develop their digital skills. The project offers approximately 720 girls and young women in Tanzania the opportunity to learn basic programming and technology skills in a safe environment, helping them prepare for the future.

Image material showing Voith’s 150-year history and the anniversary celebrations is available for download here:

For more information about Voith’s 150th anniversary visit

About Voith

For 150 years, Voith’s technologies have been inspiring customers, business partners and employees around the world. Founded in 1867, Voith today has around 19,000 employees, sales of €4.3 billion and locations in more than 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. Being a technology leader, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive.


Dirk Böckenhoff

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

St. Pöltener Straße 43
89522 Heidenheim


t +49 7321 37-3456

f +49 7321 37-7107