ZwickRoell GmbH & Co. KG
Award winner 2017 Category A
Business for Development
ZwickRoell is a medium-sized family-owned enterprise that is a world leader in the supply of machines and systems for testing materials and components. More than 20 industrial sectors use the company’s testing systems for research and development and for quality control. The ZwickRoell Group employs over 1,300 people and has production sites in Germany, other European countries and China. The company has a long history, founded more than 160 years ago. Sustainability is a fundamental principle guiding its thinking and actions.
At the end of 2015, ZwickRoell GmbH & Co. KG together with the non-governmental organisation Don Bosco Mondo e.V. opened the ZwickRoell Academy in Chennai, India, where every year up to 12 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are trained to become testing machine operators. A project that was awarded the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development 2017.
The company’s distinctive approach and project results
It took just seven months for a modern testing laboratory to be set up in the middle of one of Chennai’s largest slum areas, in a 280 m² hall equipped with state-of-the-art machines which the young people use for practical training. At the same time a curriculum was developed in collaboration with Don Bosco Mondo, encompassing the theory and practice of operating testing machines as well as English lessons and life skills training. As part of their course the young people learn to believe in their own abilities and creativity but are also taught values such as team spirit and mutual tolerance.
How the prize money is used
Conversion of the hall and the opening of the training academy were financed entirely from ZwickRoell’s own funds, as is the academy’s day-to-day running. The prize money benefits the trainees by being used for the training programme, the academy itself and its training staff.
ZwickRoell Academy, India
ZwickRoell Academy: The renovated and fully equipped ‘shed’ on the Don Bosco Campus in Chennai (India)