Carl Zeiss Foundation celebrates 125 years

Between 2007 and now, the Foundation has invested 80 million euros in financing scientific activities at universities

The Carl Zeiss Foundation was set up 125 years ago thanks to the commitment and farsightedness of German physicist and entrepreneur Ernst Abbe, who decided to allocate profits from the ZEISS and SCHOTT companies operating in the optical and glass sector to such purposes as promoting science.


Between 2007 and now, the Carl Zeiss Foundation has received 80 million euros from ZEISS and SCHOTT for promoting scientific research through grants for universities. The Foundation is of vital importance for promoting science in Germany and has very positive consequences for all ZEISS application environments throughout the world.


Although dated 1896, the statute of the Carl Zeiss Foundation still applies today because it describes the ideal model of responsible entrepreneurship. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opened the 125th anniversary celebrations, the Foundation's statute is "an exceptional document of German economic and social history".


The Chancellor also praised ZEISS and SCHOTT: well-known all over the world for their state-of-the-art technology, they are a jewel in Germany's economic crown. The Carl Zeiss Foundation and the two companies have written industrial and social history by adopting this unique corporate model. ZEISS is a leading international company in the optical and optoelectronics sectors, while SCHOTT specializes in the manufacture of glass products and is the world leader for many of the products it offers.


The Foundation's innovative nature is demonstrated in its statute that in 1896 recognized the social rights of its employees, a new development for the period that would become part of Germany's labor laws only ten years later. The Foundation has survived such crises as two World Wars and the division of the country in east and west and is now celebrating its 125th anniversary.