The Dieter Schwarz Foundation ranks among the large German foundations; it becomes active where government bodies are not, or not sufficiently, able to meet the needs of the economy and society.
“Promote education, share knowledge, venture future” is the guiding principle of the Foundation, which supports with its commitment today what makes tomorrow’s society strong: a wide range of educational opportunities targeting people at different stages of their lives.
WHO WE ARE
We are a non-profit charitable foundation of the German entrepreneur Dieter Schwarz. Based in Heilbronn, we have been active in the region and far beyond since 1999.
WHAT WE WORK ON
Our aim is to identify potential; on this basis, we develop visions that we implement in a sustainable way. We promote education and science with a focus on lifelong learning by providing the necessary funds, contributing our expertise and realising our projects in a targeted and forward-thinking manner in collaboration with our partners.
WHO WE PROMOTE
We support various facilities, institutions, non-profit-making limited liability companies and associations addressing our two key areas: education and science.
What is more, our foundation is dedicated to supporting schools, schools competitions, academies for continuing education, start-up activities as well as research institutions, conferences and events in the fields of big data and life sciences.
Since its establishment, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation has to date supported almost 700 institutions and initiatives in the fields of education and science. It laid the foundations for and initiated a wide variety of educational institutions, which are fully funded by the foundation. The financial support of third-party initiatives is another objective of our foundation.
On 18 November 1999, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation is established as a non-profit foundation. Dr. Erhard Klotz acts as the Founding Director until he retires from the foundation in 2015. Today, the foundation represents the principles of the “honourable merchant”: appreciation of other people, down-to-earth mentality, modesty, unassuming appearance, economically efficient activity and commitment to society. The foundation starts out with endowed professorships.
Akademie für Innovative Bildung und Management
The Akademie für Kommunikation und Information (Academy for Communications and Information), later renamed Akademie für Innovative Bildung und Management (Academy for Innovative Education and Management, aim), opens its doors on 21 August 2001. A non-profit institution for continuing education, the aim has received the mission from its members to strengthen education, especially in the fields of nursery, kindergarten and school. It receives financial support from the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, which allows the institution to offer participants most of its qualification programmes free of charge.
German Graduate School of Management and Law
The year 2004 marks the start of the creation of heilbronn business school, which opens its doors in 2005 and is later renamed German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS). The innovative business school specialising in management and law educates future managers and business leaders. Its part-time master’s degree programmes for working professionals are characterised by individual support and internationally renowned lecturers. In the field of executive education, GGS offers solution-oriented seminars.
In 2006, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation commits itself to establishing a planned science centre in Heilbronn with the aim to inspire visitors to experience science and technology at first hand. Initially, only the basic equipment with exhibits is sponsored, followed by the foundation of experimenta gGmbH in 2007 in collaboration with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the City of Heilbronn. After a planning phase of three years, which involves the intensive redesign of the Hagenbucher warehouse situated on the Neckarinsel, the experimenta opens its doors on 12 November 2009.
Bildungscampus, Construction Phase I
After the foundation takes the decision to fund a branch of Berufsakademie Mosbach in Heilbronn (later Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, DHBW (Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University), whose study programmes start in 2010, the first sod for construction phase I of the Bildungscampus is turned in February 2010. Covering a total of 11,800 square metres of usable space, the Bildungscampus is opened for DHBW Heilbronn, aim and GGS on 30 September 2011. Shortly thereafter, in March 2012, the decision to support DHBW’s expansion and set up individual DHBW master’s degree programmes is adopted.
Expansion of experimenta
With the experimenta programmes being a great success, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation takes the decision in March 2012 to extend the science centre built two years ago, which is followed by a national architectural competition for its comprehensive expansion. The winner of the competition is the renowned architecture practice Sauerbruch Hutton based in Berlin.
Bildungscampus, Construction Phase II
In October 2012, the course is set for the expansion of the Bildungscampus in two construction phases. One year later, the construction work can begin. On 1 July 2014, the DHBW Mosbach branch becomes an independent location: DHBW Heilbronn, the youngest member under the umbrella of DHBW locations. In October 2014, the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), a DHBW institution focusing on master’s degree programmes, opens its doors. On 30 September 2015, Bildungscampus II is inaugurated with two new buildings. The institutions now have a new assembly hall (Aula) for events, and the aim gets a new building to accommodate the growing numbers of participants on Bildungscampus Ost (eastern part of the campus). The previous aim building will from then on be used by DHBW.
Bildungscampus, Construction Phase III
On 25 October 2016, the third construction phase of the Bildungscampus is initiated, accommodating a building for the business-administration study programmes of Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences (HNN) and a building for the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS). One year later, in May 2017, the Campus Bridge is completed, which connects the buildings of the first construction phase (GGS, DHBW, Mensa (refectory)) on the east side with the buildings of the second and third construction phases (aim, Aula, CAS, HHN) on the west side. In June 2017, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation publishes its decision on the establishment of a location of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and its TUM School of Management in Heilbronn. The first two study programmes start just a year later, in October 2018.
Josef-Schwarz-Schule, named after the father of Dieter Schwarz, is added to the funding portfolio at the beginning of 2018. Josef-Schwarz-Schule is a bilingual, international all-day school. The alternative independent school operates on a non-profit basis; it received state recognition in 2015 and is based on the Baden-Württemberg curriculum, which is complemented by international elements. Josef-Schwarz-Schule was established by the educational organisation Phorms Education based in Berlin, which operates bilingual private schools and nurseries throughout Germany.
On 25 September 2018, the entrepreneurship and innovation centre Campus Founders gGmbH is established by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation. The primary focus of Campus Founders gGmbH is to inspire students in terms of entrepreneurial thinking and spark their interest in founding their own start-up businesses. The programme ranges from cross-university teaching and training opportunities to coaching measures for founders to the provision of premises that allow them to test their business ideas.
Inauguration of the Tower Building
On 31 January 2019, the tower building is inaugurated at the Bildungscampus. In addition to lecture and seminar rooms of the Technical University of Munich, the building accommodates office space for Schwarz Campus Service GmbH and for the Dieter Schwarz Foundation. In May 2019, another institution moves into the new building: the research and innovation centre KODIS of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. Furthermore, the Ferdinand-Steinbeis-Institut starts its activities at the Bildungscampus in November 2019 and also receives office space in the tower building.
Reopening of experimenta
After laying the foundation stone for its extension in June 2016, which paves the way for a science centre with national influence, the experimenta celebrates its grand reopening three years later, at the end of March 2019. In addition to the reconstructed existing building, where a variety of courses will be offered for school classes and kindergarten groups in the future, the science centre now features a spectacular new building for four exhibition worlds and creative studios. One highlight of the new experimenta is its Science Dome, featuring a 700 square metre 360-degree dome screen as well as a rotating auditorium.
In autumn 2019, a modern, practical and international institution starts its training programme: Erzieherakademie Heilbronn (Academy for Early Childhood Educators). With the establishment of this professional school for social education, aim and Phorms Education are creating a new programme for future early childhood educators. What makes the academy for early childhood educators special is its focus on practical training (praxisintegrierte Ausbildung, PIA), which means that the future early childhood educators both attend professional school (60%) and work at a daycare centre (40%).
Inauguration of Bildungscampus Nord
In October 2019, Bildungscampus Nord (northern part of the campus), which includes two new buildings for Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences (HNN), a joint library for all higher education institutions and a new subterranean refectory (Mensa), is inaugurated in a solemn ceremony.
Kickoff ISOG (Intersectoral School of Governance)
Start planned for April 2020
The Ferdinand Steinbeis Foundation (FSG)
The Ferdinand Steinbeis Foundation (FSG) of the Steinbeis Foundation will build the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute Heilbronn (FSTI HN) at the education campus with the support of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation. The Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute (FSTI) conducts research into the economic and social impact of increasing digitalization and connectivity. The goal of the research is to provide concrete benefits to all those involved, as well as business and society.
Wissensstadt Heilbronn e.V.
Heilbronn universities, research and education facilities, the city of Heilbronn, the publishing company Heilbronner Stimme, Campus Founders and the experimenta science center create the new Wissensstadt Heilbronn e.V. association, intended to serve as the center of the joint activities and future cooperation of all partners. The goal is to promote and support a comprehensive network of all the Heilbronn institutions involved, covering various topics and ranges of responsibilities, in order to achieve greater visibility and forge ahead with joint projects. Although the Dieter Schwarz Foundation is not an active member of the association, it was involved in its initiation and promotes the new platform.
New dining hall at the education campus
With over 697 square meters in area and space for up to 691 people, the underground dining hall begins operation, serving as another architectural highlight of the education campus.
Haus der Kleinen Forscher Foundation
Beyond the promotion of one-off projects, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation is involved on the institutional level in the core support funding of the Haus der Kleinen Forscher Foundation (HdkF) and will support the further strategic development of its services: the development and execution of further training for teachers and educators in the STEM fields for sustainable development. The two foundations signed a cooperation agreement until the end of 2025 and will jointly promote STEM education for sustainable development.
Launch of the “echt jetzt?!” children’s magazine
The Lesen Foundation and the Haus der Kleinen Forscher Foundation launched a joint STEM and reading promotion initiative: the new “echt jetzt?!” children’s magazine for grades three and four. This publication helps teachers practice reading with children and do research with them in the lessons. The “echt jetzt?!” magazine is made possible by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation.
The START Foundation and the Dieter Schwarz Foundation are promoting outstanding students of immigrant backgrounds in Baden-Württemberg through a three-year education and engagement program.
Start/New construction of the Josef Schwarz School (JSS) in Heilbronn
The Dieter Schwarz Foundation, as the funder, and Phorms Education, as the school board, want to build a new, architecturally and educationally future-oriented building with a total area of about 50,000 square meters on the former national garden exhibition site. Construction is planned to start the same year. The education options range from kindergarten to high school, and even an International Baccalaureate degree.
Peter Frankenberg receives the 2020 Leibniz Medal
By awarding the 2020 Leibniz Medal to Peter Frankenberg, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences honored the outstanding commitment of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation’s Board of Trustees Chairman to Germany as a place of science and research.
Coding school 42 is launched in Heilbronn
The coding school introduces its students to the complex and dynamic world of information technology. A total of 120 students between the ages of 18 and 58 made the cut to attend the 42 Heilbronn coding school and will be trained through projects in the coming years to get ready for their careers as IT experts.
Location competition for the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence in Baden-Württemberg
Heilbronn successfully competed in the location competition for the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Baden-Württemberg. In February 2021, Lord Mayor Harry Mergel, representing the Heilbronn Consortium, and Professor Reinhold Geilsdörfer, CEO of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, presented their idea to the international expert jury. In March 2021, the Heilbronn Consortium submitted its binding final project for the competition.
Research cooperation with Oxford University
For several years now, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation and Oxford University have been joined by a common vision to drive forward the global methods and technologies of today and tomorrow, while supporting social development through research. The Foundation funds new jobs and further future-oriented research work at the renowned Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University.
The aim academy celebrates its 20th anniversary!
The Akademie für Innovative Bildung und Management Heilbronn-Franken gemeinnützige GmbH turned 20. About 250 guests came to the campus for the celebration. The celebration was followed by an open-house day in the indoor and outdoor aim facilities.
More space for education and research
The education campus in Heilbronn will double in area in the coming ten years. The detailed planning will begin after the winner of the urban development competition is selected.
GET TO KNOW US
Managed by Silke Lohmiller and Prof. Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation is made up of a small team of dedicated employees.
Prof. Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer
since 2016: Managing Director
of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation
since 2015: Managing Director
of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation
Dr. Marius Huber
Dr. Benjamin Schiller
on parental leave
Project Manager, Public Relations