Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management
It was truly a stroke of luck when Otto Schott founded the “Schott & Associates Glass Technology Laboratory” together with his partners, Ernst Abbe and Carl Zeiss, in 1884. After all, by developing unique glasses with properties that could now be precisely defined, the ingenious scientist not only laid the cornerstone for today’s specialized glass industry, but also formed a company that is completely devoted to stability and sustainability.
For this reason, the success story of SCHOTT now sends a message that comes at just the right time during our anniversary year 2009. After all, the financial and economic crisis that we are experiencing right now reminds us of the difficult moments our company has experienced during its 125-year history, for instance the decisive turning point at the end of World War II (read our top story „125 years SCHOTT“). The only reason we were able to cope with these phases was because we have held on to our strengths and constantly faced up to the future.
The same applies even today: Our power of innovation is one of the constants of our corporate history. From the 1970s until today, Ceran® glass ceramic cooktop panels have “conquered” kitchens all over the world – and they’ve done this so consistently that the 100 millionth cooktop will be rolling off the belt quite soon. But there can be no progress without investing in new technologies: In the U.S., we opened the world’s first combined manufacturing facility for receivers and photovoltaic modules, which strengthens our commitment to innovative solar technology and creates new “green” jobs.
But recognizing the signs of the times is not only important in the U.S. In China’s emerging pharmaceutical market, SCHOTT became the world’s first Western importer to have its own manufacturing facility for high-quality pharmaceutical packaging in China certified by the People’s Republic’s State food and drug authorities. Last, but not least, research is what points us in the right direction, both today and in the past: Twelve Otto Schott Research Award winners embarked on an interesting journey to the future of glass. These are all very good reasons for us to trust in our company’s mature strength, even in difficult times.
I wish you enjoyable reading.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer