As a global player, GEA participates in a multitude of regional and local projects and initiatives while interacting with more than 200 trade and industry associations, discussing technical and market-related topics. For example, GEA is a member of the Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA – German Engineering Association) and is actively involved in that association’s Corporate Responsibility working group, established in 2017.
For the purpose of agile innovation management, GEA actively connects with stakeholders from the research and science community. One example is GEA’s involvement in the business accelerator program, MassChallenge Switzerland, which provides a platform to connect industry, investors and entrepreneurs so that good ideas can get off the ground and enter the market more quickly.
In 2016, GEA became one of the founding sponsors of MassChallenge Switzerland, playing an active part in its start-up community, mainly focusing on topics related to food, health and energy. As a result, GEA is able to partner with experts within and outside of the GEA network to develop products and solutions for customers. In the year under review, GEA renewed its engagement for another three-year term.
GEA engages with diverse schools and universities throughout Germany, to support students as they transition into the work world. Career guidance and counseling ensure that in the future, there will be enough young talent to fill important roles in the tech field and the natural sciences. GEA’s largest site in Oelde, Germany, cooperates with schools and businesses (“Kooperationsnetz Schule-Wirtschaft“) which involves attending information events held in the participating schools, providing students with job application training and supporting joint projects with students and apprentices.
'Engineering for a better world' means finding solutions to meet the challenges that our customers, as well as consumers, face. This requires a team effort and a continual influx of fresh ideas. For that very reason, training and preparing the next generation of professionals is a win-win for GEA, its customers and for society, and is a task that GEA takes very seriously.
The integration of HLW (Hinterländer Werkstätten, Dautphetal) employees in production activities at GEA’s Biedenkopf-Wallau site in Germany serves as an example of the successful inclusion of mentally-handicapped people in the workplace. The site manufactures state-of-the art food processing and packaging plants and equipment. HLW employees had previously worked in a designated area of the plant, however, each has now been assigned to a specific activity within the main facility and is fully integrated into the workforce.