Monday, 18 February 2019

Dr Angela Merkel:”An important year and jubilee for Ottobock and Germany.”

Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony; Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor; Prof. Hans Georg Näder; Wolfgang Nolte, Mayor of Duderstadt

Chancellor pays tribute to the jubilee of Ottobock and the accomplishments to human mobility

In 1919, Otto Bock founded the ‘Orthopaedic Industry’, the predecessor of today's international world market leader in prosthetics, Ottobock. Since then, the needs of customers, users and employees have been the top priority for the family-owned company, true to the values “reliable, human, and inventive”. At an official ceremony in the historic town hall of Duderstadt on Monday morning, Chancellor Merkel paid tribute to the company's accomplishments to human mobility. “An important year and jubilee for Ottobock and Germany. One thing appears throughout the history of Ottobock, and that is the fact that technology serves people here. A sense of responsibility runs through the 100 years. They are a prime example of German medium-sized businesses and family businesses. However, such a company is also hard work, constant decisions, different directions, clear view of the competitors, because the world really does not sleep,” the Chancellor said in front of 350 invited guests of honour. With its innovations, Ottobock has made a significant contribution to help people get back into their lives and to remove taboos from disabilities in society.

Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony, also emphasized the innovative strength of the family-owned company. “‘Progress has tradition’, is the motto at Ottobock. Growth has always been strongly driven by innovation here - family business 4.0,” said Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony. Previously, Mayor of Duderstadt, Wolfgang Nolte, underlined the importance of Ottobock for the region. “What a blessing, a happy coincidence for this region. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to say thank you for your loyalty to the region, your permanent prospects for the future and your charitable commitment.”

“Our growth has always been driven by curiosity, inventions, a redesigned global presence and the human factor, and it has been ground breaking for Ottobock,” Professor Hans Georg Näder said. He emphasized the milestones of his grandfather Otto Bock and his father Dr Max Näder but also looked to the future: “Curiosity has led to ground breaking inventions and dramatically changed lives of people with disabilities. It has shaped and changed orthopaedic technology worldwide. The focus is on people, both yesterday and today.”

It became especially emotional when Heinrich Popow thanked Professor Hans Georg Näder for his Paralympic commitment. With the support of the entrepreneur and the company, great strides have been able to make towards greater diversity in recent years. “Thank you for allowing us to be the people we want to be, thank you for the company's DNA,” said Popow, who ended his active sports career in the summer of 2018 but continues to be involved in the Paralympic sport, for example at the Ottobock Running Clinics.

At the end of the ceremony, Professor Hans Georg Näder and the publisher Gerhard Steidl, from German city Göttingen, presented the Chancellor with the anniversary book ‘Futuring Human Mobility’. With this book, Näder and other pioneers of our time look into the future. Besides well-known names such as star architect Sir David Chipperfield and Gordon Wagener, Chief Designer at Daimler, the book's editorial team also visited scientific thought leaders and visionaries such as Professor Kevin Warwick and Nobel Prize winner Professor Stefan Hell. Warwick was the first person to have an RFID chip implanted in his body in 1998. Hell resisted the German scientific establishment and broke through the previously defined resolution limit in microscopy.

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