The Carl Zeiss Foundation is one of the oldest company-affiliated foundations in Germany. Its main function is to ensure the long-term future of the two foundation companies and the promotion of science.
The foundation is not permitted to sell the shares of its two companies, which is specified in the foundation statute. Thanks to this special setup, ZEISS and SCHOTT have a unique company model.
With the dividends of Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG, the Carl Zeiss Foundation provides funding for research and teaching in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Funding is awarded to projects and individuals in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia, which are the federal states in which the foundation and the foundation companies are registered. A foundation administration which is independent of the companies is responsible for the funding activities.
The Carl Zeiss Foundation was founded in 1889 in Jena by physicist and entrepreneur Ernst Abbe with support from the founder of SCHOTT, Otto Schott.
It is now one of the largest private foundations which provides scientific funding in Germany.