Education, care, science and research

Cyber Valley

Dr. Hyosang Lee’s research group is part of the Institute of Smart Sensors (IIS) at the University of Stuttgart and develops artificial tactile systems that are then applied in contact-rich environments. In order to do so, the group is going to conduct interdisciplinary research at both the hardware and software levels, including research into new materials, sensor design, multiphysics simulation, sensor fabrication, signal processing, and machine learning. Their research has the potential to produce autonomous systems for contact-rich systems. These systems could, in perspective, be able to recognize contact as such and take advantage of their body’s surface for manipulation, motion planning, and nonverbal communication.

KIT Karlsruhe: MINTernship programme

To address the shortage of skilled labour in STEM (MINT in German) subjects, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) initiated the MINTernship programme. As part of the programme, students and post-graduate candidates from selected partner universities can pursue internships at KIT. The Christian Bürkert Stiftung sustainably supports the programme with scholarships for international students.

Scholarship at UWC Robert Bosch College

“UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” (UWC mission statement)

UWC (United World Colleges) is a global educational movement that brings together students aged 16 to 19 from all over the world, offering them life-changing education. Young people of different cultures, religions and social classes from over seventy nations live together in one place for two years. They learn from each other, with each other and work together for peace and sustainable development. Voluntary work – whether in AIDS education in Swaziland or the sea rescue service in Wales – has a lasting impact on the students and at the same time benefits other people. There are 17 United World Colleges worldwide. UWC Robert Bosch College was founded as the 13th member in September 2014 on the grounds of the Charterhouse, a former monastery of the Carthusian Order in Freiburg. The school is home to 200 young people from over 100 nations. They apply through national committees worldwide, and after being selected come together at one of the 17 colleges. At UWC Robert Bosch College, about 70% of the students receive a full scholarship, another 30% a partial scholarship – the stay should be independent of the financial means of their parents. In order to finance the scholarships, UWC is reliant on donations; major supporters are the State of Baden-Württemberg, B. Braun Melsungen AG, the Robert Bosch Stiftung as well as various foundations and private individuals, and the Christian Bürkert Stiftung. UWC Robert Bosch College has a special focus on environmental issues. The central question is how technology can contribute to sustainable ecological development and peace. UWC Robert Bosch College is characterised by pedagogical innovations and a differentiated approach to teaching and school development. The school leaving certificate is the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), which qualifies students to study at universities of further education worldwide.


The Deutschlandstipendium supports students whose career path to date promises outstanding academic achievements. In addition to academic achievements, the criteria for selecting scholarship recipients include social commitment, for example in associations or in higher education policy, in church or political organisations as well as commitment in the social environment, in the family or in a social institution. Consideration is also given to overcoming particular biographical hurdles resulting from a person’s family or cultural background. The Christian Bürkert Stiftung finances these scholarships at KIT Karlsruhe as well as at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Technical University of Munich, University of Augsburg, Technical University of Dresden, Technical University of Ilmenau and University of Stuttgart.

Welcome Scholarship of Deutsche Universitätsstiftung for students of Heilbronn University

In addition to providing a mentor, the Welcome Scholarship offers several events such as the gala, symposia, potential analyses, summer sessions and workshops. These workshops are held on topics from the fields of key qualifications, soft skills, integration and scientific work. Topics of the workshops include, for example, intercultural competence, learning and self-management, presentation training and application training. Communication or “business etiquette”. The order of the workshops is based on the requirements of the course of study. Furthermore, the evaluation of the workshops includes a survey of the current needs of those receiving funding. The concept of the workshops draws on the experience of Deutsche Universitätsstiftung with the TANDEM scholarship programme as well as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Otto Benecke Stiftung regarding the support of refugee students.

Umschulungs- und Fortbildungszentrum Niederstetten

Umschulungs- und Fortbildungszentrum Niederstetten e.V. (UFZ) was founded in the early 1970s by the district of Mergentheim, the town of Niederstetten and the co-initiator Christian Bürkert and opened its doors on 7 January 1971. After Bürkert was unable to realise its plans to establish a branch plant in Niederstetten due to the death of Christian Bürkert, the sponsorship was reorganised in 1974 through its conversion into a registered association and the former school building in Wermutshausen was chosen as the location. Since then, UFZ Niederstetten e.V. has continuously developed and ultimately reached the limits of its growth in Wermutshausen. With the new building for the extension of UFZ, the supporting association wants to further expand its commitment to the training of young people in the Hohenlohe region. Training focuses on the metal, electrical and mechatronics sectors. In addition to the two retraining classes in the metal and electrical sector with over 30 participants, the number of students in company-based training has almost doubled since 2012 (659 participants in 2018). Further education and advanced training courses are also on offer. Besides the federal government, the state, the Main-Tauber district and the city of Niederstetten, the Christian Bürkert Stiftung is one of the largest supporters of the educational institution with a grant amounting to €100,000.

University of Stuttgart: Stipends for visiting foreign Students

Students from international partner countries acquire intercultural and professional competences at the University of Stuttgart by completing a research project during a two- to three-month study visit at a host institute during their semester break. In addition to research projects at the host institute, students also have the opportunity to become acquainted with other university institutes. The Stuttgart University Program for Experiencing Research (SUPER) is a contribution to internationalisation of the university.

KIT Karlsruhe: Stipends for Students in special Life Situations

The care of family members or the care of children can create a heavy burden for young people if financial need makes it necessary for them to take on sideline jobs. Gifted students in special life situations are supported with a stipend from funds of the Christian Bürkert Stiftung, which helps them to successfully complete their studies in spite of the many challenges.

University of Stuttgart: Academic Choir and Academic Orchestra

The Academic Choir and Academic Orchestra of Stuttgart University provides a framework for students to participate in high-level music making. The Academic Choir and Academic Orchestra alternate every year in taking a trip abroad to perform important orchestral and choral works of major composers.

Primary school museum project in Oberlichtenau, Saxony

The “Am Keulenberg” primary school in Oberlichtenau is situated close to Dresden. Between 2016 and 2019, the primary school’s museum project was carried out in cooperation with the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and financed through funds of the Christian Bürkert Stiftung gGmbH. Years 1 to 4 go on regular field trips to the museum and then deal with relevant topics in class. The project has also helped keep the number of pupils at a stable level, leading the local Ministry of Education to issue a guarantee for the school until 2029.

Heilbronn: Susanne Finkbeiner Schule

In a one-year special vocational school youths and young adults who have not completed compulsory secondary schooling can acquire basic vocational skills in comprehensive instruction for a field of work. The special education requirement for support of the school students is especially important at the Susanne Finkbeiner School.

University of Heilbronn: Stipends for study abroad

To support study abroad the Christian Bürkert Stiftung grants several stipends to students of the University of Heilbronn every year. The students apply to the university for these stipends.

Mosbach Cooperative State University: Stipends for study abroad

Students of technology at the DHBW Mosbach can receive a stipend for study abroad at partner colleges and universities in the USA, Mexico and Wales. The students apply to the academy for these stipends.

Social affairs, churches, culture

Church Night for young people in the deanery of Öhringen

Every year at the beginning of the autumn holidays, the Evang. Bezirksjugendwerk in the deanery of Öhringen organises the Church Night. In the local Protestant parish hall and in Neuenstein church, young people are given the opportunity to put together an attractive programme – and to help shape its development. Budding talents can take part in jazz dance shows, theatre plays, circus performances, games and experimental activities. At the heart of each Church Night is a concert by a professional band (Judy Bailey, Good Weather Forecast, Warum Lila, Normal Ist Anders, etc.). The musicians also contribute to the content of the Church Night by taking part in lively discussions. Besides delicious culinary offerings, the youth service in the wonderfully illuminated church is a highlight of every Church Night. Life-relevant topics give young people the chance to come into conversation about various issues such as “freedom”, “tolerance”, “co-determination of society”, “media”, etc. The Church Night promotes youth culture, while supporting the personal development and education of young people.

Organ building at Holy Cross Church in Ingelfingen

The Catholic Holy Cross Church in Ingelfingen finally received a pipe organ after many decades of effort. It was purchased second-hand in 2017 from the Protestant parish of Burghausen/Salzach and then adapted to the local conditions in Ingelfingen, making it look like it had always been there. From organ dismantling to re-assembly, the project was characterised by a high level of voluntary commitment from the congregation. It is not just about filling an empty space in the church, but about ensuring wonderful organ music during church services and concerts for generations to come. The official unveiling of the organ took place after completion of the work in November 2019.

Neues Globe theatre, Schwäbisch Hall

The NEUES GLOBE opened in March 2019. Freilichtspiele Schwäbisch Hall e.V. is the owner. Called the NEUES GLOBE, the new theatre building is the second venue of Freilichtspiele Schwäbisch Hall and continues in the illustrious tradition of the previous building while further developing its concept and reach. The guiding principle is the image of a “modern local theatre” coined by Christoph Biermeier. “All the world’s a stage” was displayed on the outside of the old Haller Globe theatre This famous phrase from Shakespeare’s philosophical comedy “As You Like It” underlines the reference to the great poet of Elizabethan theatre, who placed people as actors at the core of his theatrical thinking. The proximity to the actors within a transparent and multi-purpose space as well as the stunning location in the lush green heart of the city result in the special appeal and unmistakable charm of this theatre. Besides continuing to deliver intensive use throughout a summer season of open-air performances, the theatre offerings for and with young people as well as the winter programme, in particular, are to be enhanced.

The “ankommen_weiterkommen” project of Notfallpädagogik Karlsruhe

The “ankommen_weiterkommen” project was launched in March 2017 at Parzival Zentrum in Karlsruhe-Hagsfeld. Funding, also from the Christian Bürkert Stiftung, enables four members of the emergency education team of “Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners e.V.” to offer much needed support to unaccompanied minor refugees in order to aid their personal development, social learning skills and career decision-making. Many of the young refugees are traumatised. The trauma they experienced in their home countries and while fleeing to a safer place continues to affect them and has a huge impact on the overall health and ability of individuals to learn properly. In order to prevent post-traumatic stress disorders and trauma sequel disorders, “ankommen_weiterkommen” offers various projects which are understood as complementary to the support provided by school and youth welfare services. The projects offer young refugees access to a variety of vocational and recreational opportunities, such as practical, artistic, experience-educational, playful, culturally reflective, theatre-educational and career related activities. Through hands-on activities the youngsters experience themselves in a different way, thereby developing and improving their self-efficacy. Rehearsing a play together and finding the courage to stand on stage in front of an audience additionally helps to develop a strong and firm character. Yet another key aspect of “ankommen_weiterkommen” is the active support for career decision-making that the refugees receive. Excursions and company visits take place at regular intervals, giving the young people a deep insight into everyday working life and suitable vocational training occupations.

Nordstadtkids Heilbronn

The Nordstadtkids programme was set up in 2014 with the help of initial funding from the Christian Bürkert Stiftung. The catalyst for the programme was the many homeless young people in the city’s Nordstadt district, which was swelled by a large group of youngsters with a refugee background in 2015. Nordstadtkids quickly went from being a weekly ‘youth group’ session to a programme full of offerings. Through the tireless outreach work of the Nordstadtkids-Mobil trailer, contact was established with an increasing number of kids, with more than 80 of them receiving extra advice, support and guidance. Due to the sheer size of the Nordstadt district, there are now two sites: The kiosk at Industrieplatz and the Nordstadtkids apartment. Depending on their individual experiences, the youngsters have varying needs that are catered for at both sites. The cultural and religious diversity of Nordstadtkids gives the children and young people the opportunity to learn to appreciate and respect each other. In 2018, 30 youngsters from Nordstadtkids staged an initial theatre performance. For many of them the “Nordstadtkids macht Theater” project was their first chance to stand on stage.

Zauberfaden – sewing workshop for refugees and asylum seekers

As a non-profit enterprise, the sewing workshop “Zauberfaden” in Schorndorf succeeds in bringing together women and men of various nationalities and providing them with meaningful and reliable employment. The eleven sewers from five different countries employed in the workshop learn or enhance many manual skills within a short space of time and are thus also provided a daily structure that contributes significantly to their rapid and successful integration. At the same time, the workshop is also a place of encounter. Meaning the facility is not used exclusively for sewing. It is regularly turned into a classroom for language development courses, which are highly appreciated and well received by the sewers.

Lichtblick-TAK e.V. for bereaved children and teenagers

Lichtblick-TAK e.V. cares for bereaved children, teenagers, young adults and their families who have experienced the loss of a parent or child. The aim is to help the young people move forward with their lives in a positive way, while ensuring the parents remain able to cope and regain a sense of security. The Christan Bürkert Stiftung supports the work of the association in Künzelsau-Gaisbach.

Verein zur Hilfe in außerordentlichen Notfällen e.V.

Verein zur Hilfe in außerordentlichen Notfällen e.V., Stuttgart, has been supporting people in need for over 130 years. The district welfare offices of the Protestant regional church in Württemberg identify people in need and write requests for assistance. They also offer local support to those seeking help. These are often single mothers, but also people of all ages who require help due to illness or difficult times. Every month, the 13 volunteers process between 25 and 55 requests for help. The employees understand emergency aid as ‘help for self-help’ and are happy that they can give people who have hit hard times a sign of hope. Therefore, acute emergencies are dealt with in a way that is as unbureaucratic as possible when all other means have been exhausted.

Heilbronn Südstadtkids

Südstadtkids is a socially oriented institution for children and young people in Heilbronn. As part of the career decision-making models within the Südstadtkids project, the growing network of cooperation partners from various trades has been used to carry out practical projects in the Südstadtkids house or in the companies themselves. Young people have been able to complete internships in companies and thus discover their own vocational calling. Further, young people completing their vocational training receive active support. And aid is also provided to young people in their search for vocational training jobs.

Ingelfingen: Kindergarten Hälden

In 2008, the Christian Bürkert Stiftung supported the expansion of the Hälden Kindergarten in Ingelfingen, enabling a realignment of the care offered and the introduction of all-day care for children aged two and above. The expansion of the kindergarten included the creation of functional areas such as a studio and an experiment corner, which allows the children to choose and plan their activities themselves during free play, corresponding to their interests. The open architecture of the building provides plenty of room for romping, playing and learning.

Ingelfingen: Restoration of the Nikolauskirche church tower

The Nikolauskirche in Ingelfingen is a meeting place for the citizens of lngelfingen for church services, concerts and lectures. It is also a landmark of the city. The costly restoration of the church tower in 2013 was substantially supported by the Christian Bürkert Stiftung.

Stuttgart: “Vesperkirche” open church

For the lonely, helpless, aged and for everyone who seeks social interaction, the Leonhardskirche in Stuttgart opens its doors for seven weeks between January and March with the “Vesperkirche” program. The open church offers a hot lunch. Those who have spent a night outdoors receive blankets and can sleep on the pews. Deacons are available for anyone who needs advice or someone to talk to. In the late afternoon the Vesperkirche closes with a prayer service.

Lunch together in the community centre “Gut alt werden” (grow old well) in Künzelsau

In cooperation between the District Welfare Office, the Protestant parish and the Paul Wilhelm von Keppler Foundation, a weekly “Lunch Together” is offered. The goal is to combat poverty and loneliness, to maintain social contacts and establish new ones. The Christian Bürkert Stiftung provides financial support for this cross-generation program.

Öhringen: “Einkehrkirche” open church

For two weeks every winter the place of worship in the old town centre of Öhringen offers warmth for the body and soul. Here people can have an inexpensive lunch, experience a sense of community and receive spiritual impetus for their lives. The Christian Bürkert Stiftung sustainably supports this work.