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the foundation
„identifying interrelationships, speeding up transformation“

The purpose of the Wittenstein Foundation is to promote education and training as well as science and research. The focus is on clarifying interrelationships between people, technology, nature and society, as well as the economic, technological, social, and ecological requirements to safeguard our resources for future generations, and also on promoting an understanding of the role of business activities for society. The foundation seeks to make an important contribution to the essential transformation of these requirements.

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The Wittenstein Foundation was established by Dr. Manfred Wittenstein in August 2021. The foundation is legally responsible under civil law and exclusively and directly pursues charitable objectives. The basic assets amount to EUR 5 million, consisting of 5,000,000 preferred shares in WITTENSTEIN SE. The foundation’s purpose is realized, among other things, by the foundation

  • Organizing and promoting congresses and events that serve interdisciplinary and international exchange among researchers;
  • Raising awareness for the future challenges facing society and entrepreneurs through general dialog formats between researchers and practitioners;
  • Providing financial support and awards to researchers, for example, for doctoral theses or other research work, whose research subject matter is related to the foundation’s purpose;
  • Awarding scholarships to students in the appropriate disciplines. Scholarships may also be awarded to students who intend to pursue a course of study in the appropriate discipline;
  • Organizing art exhibitions dedicated to the foundation’s purpose;
  • Encouraging young people interested in technology at schools





the founder
„overcoming boundaries, establishing networks”

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Over the last few decades, Manfred Wittenstein has turned his parents’ small special machine factory DEWITTA into WITTENSTEIN SE, a leading international company that inspires its customers in the world of the cybertronic motion through innovation, precision, excellence, and sustainability, while at the same time helping conserve our resources for future generations.

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This success was only possible because Manfred Wittenstein always geared the further development of his company towards great and changing social challenges. Technology in this sense therefore always has a function that serves humankind. At the same time though, it can also be daunting and seen less as a problem-solver and more as a problem-creator. A broad exchange of information and experiences, as well as mutual understanding across the board is therefore required to constructively shape a sustainable successful future for as many members of society as possible. This is the only way to transform the great challenges of our time and the existing potential solutions into a sustainable evolutionary path that secures prosperity.


On his own path as a visionary and entrepreneur, Manfred Wittenstein went through the transformation process from “lone wolf” to “networker”, continuously widening his circles, meaning spheres of action, learning, and opportunity, over the years. Not just in technological and economic terms, but also regionally, culturally and across the breadth and diversity of social groups. Meaningful experiences and the deep conviction that we as a society as a whole will only master the great challenges of the 21st century, especially taking the interests of future generations into account, if we see the necessary development and transformation processes as a shared responsibility, prompted Manfred Wittenstein to establish this foundation and therefore make a lasting and valuable contribution to fulfilling this mission.

Manfred Wittenstein also does this on behalf of his family.





the familiy
„taking responsibility
across generations“

WITTENSTEIN SE is a family business; the shareholders and family are identical, and the family’s entrepreneurial spirit therefore guides the company’s vision and mission. This equally applies to the Wittenstein Foundation. 

 

Just as Manfred Wittenstein, the initial benefactor under the Articles of Association, expresses his purpose and willingness staunchly and unambiguously, so too do the other family members and shareholders of WITTENSTEIN SE support the Wittenstein Foundation in its intention, strategy and endowment. The committed and permanent realization of the foundation’s charitable purpose is a stated aim and therefore also a personal obligation for the entire family – out of a responsibility that it wants to accept.

the board of trustees
„providing direction and inspiration“

The Board of Trustees is the foundation’s advisory and supervisory body and determines the overarching strategy for the foundation’s work, among other things. In accordance with the Articles of Association, the Board consists of up to seven individuals and sets key priorities for measures to achieve the foundation’s purpose. 

Dr. Manfred Wittenstein (Chairman)


Manfred Wittenstein has been Chairman of the WITTENSTEIN SE Supervisory Board since 2014. After studying and completing research work at the Technical University of Berlin, Manfred Wittenstein first founded his own organization, then took over his parents’ company in 1979 and successfully developed it into a leading international drive specialist over the decades.
Manfred Wittenstein has been active in various capacities for many years, including as a member of the Science and Industry Research Union (Forschungsunion Wirtschaft – Wissenschaft) from 2006 to 2013. In 2007, he was elected President of the German Mechanical and Plant Engineering Association (VDMA) for a three-year term. From 2008 to 2011, he held the office of Vice President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). In the Society for the Promotion of Economic Research (Freunde des ifo Instituts ), he has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2011 and Deputy Chairman since 2015. He has been a member of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Board of Trustees since 2013 and a member of the Board of Trustees for acatech, the National Academy of Science and Engineering, since 2015




Dr. Anna-Katharina Wittenstein


Anna-Katharina Wittenstein studied business administration at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg and the University of Mannheim. From 2002 to 2006, she initially worked as a consultant and research assistant at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart before earning her doctorate in engineering at the University of Stuttgart in 2007. In 2008, she took over the management of WITTENSTEIN AG, Switzerland. In 2013, she moved to the USA as Chair of the WITTENSTEIN Holding Corp. Board. On her return to the German corporate headquarters, she was appointed to the WITTENSTEIN SE Board in 2016.




Dr. Bertram Hoffmann


Bertram Hoffmann studied mechanical engineering both at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and subsequently at the Technical University of Karlsruhe and joined Robert Bosch GmbH as a trainee in 1996 after obtaining his doctorate in engineering. After holding various positions in quality assurance, manufacturing, technical operations and plant management in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the Czech Republic, he was appointed Managing Director of ZF Lenksysteme GmbH in 2007. In 2012, Bertram Hoffmann moved to Bosch Rexroth AG and became a member of the Executive Board. He has been CEO of the WITTENSTEIN SE Management Board since 2019.




Prof. Dr. Michael Junker


Having completed his studies, doctorate and post-doctoral qualification, Michael Junker held the position of professor and dean of law faculties at the Universities of Cologne and Greifswald until 1995. From 1995 to 2000 he was Head of the International Department Life at Allianz AG, and until 2003 he was a member of the Management Board of AXA Holding in Paris, where he was responsible for the global optimization and integration of insurance processes. Following this, Michael Junker spent 15 years in a global management position at Accenture, the world’s leading services company in digital transformation, before founding the Michael Junker Institute in 2017. He has been a member of the WITTENSTEIN SE Supervisory Board since 2018.




Prof. Dr. Eckard Minx (Deputy Chairman)


Eckard Minx studied economics and law at the Free University of Berlin. He graduated with a degree in economics and a degree in business administration. After completing his doctorate, he worked as a commercial employee in international plant engineering in Saudi Arabia and Algeria from 1979 to 1980. In 1980, Eckard Minx became an employee of Daimler Benz AG (Berlin Research Group), where he was head of the “Society and Technology” research unit at Daimler Benz AG in Berlin, Palo Alto (California) and Kyoto from 1992 to May 2009. From 2008, he was Chair of the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation Board for 13 years. Eckard Minx is a founder and partner of DIE DENKBANK in Berlin.





the office
„implementing the
foundation’s purpose“

The statutory administration of the foundation as well as the ongoing foundation work in accordance with the Board of Trustees’ guidelines is carried out by the employees in the administrative office. Management is responsible for representing the foundation in and out of court.

Dr. Sascha von Berchem | Managing Director


Sascha von Berchem studied economics at Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg. After completing his doctorate and several years of scientific work in research, teaching, and policy consulting, he joined what is now WITTENSTEIN SE in 2005. Since then, Sascha von Berchem has been responsible for various staff positions in central Group management, most recently for policy issues, board communications & public affairs.




Julia Riedmeyr | Project Management and Communications


Julia Riedmeyr studied business administration at Hof University of Applied Sciences after completing her training as a digital and print media professional. In 2015, she joined the WITTENSTEIN Group and has since worked in the Corporate Marketing and Communication role at headquarters, and in the Corporate and Management Board Communication department since 2019.