The foundation is prohibited from selling its shares in the two companies – this is explicitly stipulated in the Foundation statutes. Thanks to this special arrangement, ZEISS and SCHOTT have a unique corporate model.
Carl Zeiss AG and SCHOTT AG use the dividends to promote science and teaching in the fields of mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences and technology. Support is given to projects and individuals in the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia, where the Foundation and the Foundation companies are based. The non-profit activities are overseen by an independent Foundation Administration.
The Carl Zeiss Foundation was founded in 1889 by the physicist and entrepreneur Ernst Abbe in Jena, Germany, with the support of Otto Schott, founder of SCHOTT.
Today, it is one of the largest private foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science.