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Berlin to go, english edition, 02/2017

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SERVICE A BIT OF BERLIN

SERVICE A BIT OF BERLIN IN YOUR WALLET Bogen Electronic GmbH is a company with a long tradition. Produced in Berlin, delivered to the entire world – quality “Made in Berlin” Interview: Christin Berges CEO Dr. Torsten Becker on tape recorders, the engineer-to-engineer principle and Berlin Partner’s support for traditional companies. DR. BECKER, BOGEN’S COMPANY HISTORY IS CLOSELY TIED TO BERLIN’S. HOW HAS YOUR COMPANY BEEN INFLUENCED BY ITS LOCATION? DR. TORSTEN BECKER (TB): The firm was founded in 1951 to produce magnetic tape recording heads for the American radio station in Berlin. In the first years after the division of the city, goods from the USA could not be delivered quickly enough. Mr. Bogen, an expert in audiotape technology, was able to undertake intensive research and development and establish a company in Zehlendorf that grew from 1 to 380 employees within 20 years. In the years that followed, the company underwent several changes, especially due to Asian companies’ ability to manufacture large quantities of goods at significantly lower cost and our own repositioning in light of the dwindling significance of cassettes. In 1989, Bogen moved out of the big Bogen building in Zehlendorf and into a new, smaller location. TODAY, BOGEN PRODUCES MAGNETIC HEADS AT ITS BERLIN LOCATION AND ALSO OFFERS MAGNETIC MEASUREMENT SOLU- TIONS. DO WE EVER ENCOUNTER YOUR PRODUCTS IN OUR DAILY LIVES? TB: BOGEN is in your wallet, for example, if that’s where you keep your ATM card or credit card. The brown stripes on the back side of the card are magnetic, which allow it to store information transferred by our magnetic heads. This information can be read magnetically in shops so you can buy things with your card. And years ago you could see us in almost every home, when we were making magnetic heads for cassette recorders. Digitization has meant that everyone streams their music these days, so we no longer need cassettes. AND MAGNETIC MEASUREMENT SOLUTIONS – WHEN DO THESE COME INTO PLAY? TB: When you’re driving your car and suddenly slam on the brakes, your ABS system makes sure your wheels don’t lock. So, the ABS system must know the rotational velocity of the wheels, which can be calculated using magnetic measurement technology. I’m always astounded at all the different potential applications for magnetic measurement: elevators, motors and robots are just a few. Even Walt Disney controls their animated Photo: BOGEN Electronic GmbH 22

characters in amusement parks using our measurement technology, which allows the figures to move their arms into a certain position and to nod their heads. HOW DO YOU MEET ALL THE INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR PRODUCTS? TB: We’re typically called on when there are exciting problems to solve using new products. As a subcontractor for specialized companies, we have clients all of the world – in Silicon Valley, China, Europe and elsewhere. We work in accordance with the engineer-to-engineer principle, meaning that we develop individual solutions together with our clients within the scope of their product development. WHAT IS THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE BERLIN OFFERS YOUR COMPANY? TB: The Berlin job market offers loads of skilled personnel and has very good universities and other educational institutions, so it’s rather easy to find suitable applicants for open positions. And if Berlin isn’t able to provide the applicants we need, the city is so appealing that it’s almost effortless to convince applicants from elsewhere to move to Berlin. BERLIN PARTNER HAS BEEN SUPPORTING BOGEN FOR SEVERAL YEARS. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE SERVICE? TB: In the last few years we’ve had a lot of ideas and Berlin Partner has been an outstanding guide in leading us to the right sort of funding for them. In cooperation with Berlin Partner we were able to clear the way for our plans and achieve great things in a very short amount of time. This has been true with both local and Europe-wide projects. IN ONE OF THE PROJECTS YOU WERE PRO- MOTED BY THE EU SUPPORT PROGRAM, HORIZON 2020. WHAT CAN YOU ACHIEVE THROUGH THIS PROJECT? TB: We’re experimenting with our products in application areas where magnetic measurement technology has not previously been employed. In certain applications, optical measuring has formerly been favored over magnetic measurement. In our tuMaPos project we’re creating a new product line with the same precision as optical measurement, but using magnetism instead, which is more straightforward and less expensive. In this project we’re collaborating with Portuguese experts, who are Europe’s technology specialists in this field. CORPORATE SERVICES Our corporate services focus on Berlin firms with growth and innovation potential. With experienced key account managers with a focus on industry and 12 project managers for Berlin’s medium-sized companies and startups, who are integrated locally into district economic promotion initiatives, our corporate services cast a wide net. The goal is to actively offer the City-State of Berlin’s entire economic support package of services to companies and to guide them through their investment strategies. Around 1,600 companies are currently being supported by our corporate services, which see themselves not only as problem solvers and consultants, but also as networkers with service partners at the local and state level. Location, talent and promotion – expanding companies receive assistance in managing the classic questions surrounding growth. SERVICES FROM A SINGLE SOURCE • Location consulting and support in finding real estate • Knowledge and technology transfer • Information on funding opportunities and financing methods • Support in the recruiting and qualification of skilled workers • Administrative liaison services and permit management • Assistance during internationalization • Support with assuring location viability 23

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