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110 years of OSRAM

From the light bulb to networked and intelligent light.

“In the beginning there was light …” – true, but our company is not quite that old yet. Even so, we can look back on an eventful history filled with technological bright spots. Our journey began with the registration of the OSRAM wordmark at the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin in 1906. Since then, OSRAM has been constantly evolving and has reinvented light over and over again – from conventional lamps through to gas-discharge lamps and LED light to laser and invisible light. The current portfolio ranges from high-tech to networked intelligent applications.

This is why the OSRAM brand traditionally stands for quality and innovation. The company first came to prominence in the 1920’s with technologically superior products and an expansive company policy. By the 1950’s, OSRAM had succeeded in reaching the top of the industrial sector in light as a leader in technology. In 1954, the company headquarters was moved from Berlin to Munich, where OSRAM spent the following decades as the leading force in driving the development of countless innovative lighting technologies forward.

A historic turning point in the OSRAM story came in 1999. In order to enter the highly-promising semiconductor market, the company acquired the LED division of the former parent company, Siemens. OSRAM struck gold with this strategic decision - in the 21st century, lighting and other future technologies is increasingly based on semiconductors. The potential applications are practically unlimited. Development of these applications continues unabated. From laser light technology which is currently revolutionising the automotive industry to industrial applications, the growth potential is truly infinite.

110 years ago we were a domestic company, the very model of inventive enterprise, though we have long since become a global company. We draw inspiration for our products and systems from around the world. We are a company that invents the future. We are the sum of many, forward thinking people turning possibility into reality. On average we register two patents every day. Yet we are more than simply the sum of our workforce. Just as important are the goals and ideas of our customers and partners. We listen carefully where there are needs and opportunities and these give our ideas direction and a commercial basis.

Our story so far is, however, simply the prelude to the new strategic direction of the company. We have reinvented ourselves on our journey from integrated lighting manufacturer to lighting technology provider. With the future-oriented innovation and growth initiative “Diamond” we have created the foundation for sustainable growth. Our capacity for innovation is being deployed in new fields, the commercial utilisation of chip fabrication expertise and novel applications in the visible and invisible light spectrum being examples of how the next chapter in the OSRAM success story could unfold. 

With an economic realignment, well-judged investments and concentration on three strategic pillars, the long-established company OSRAM is today in excellent shape to face the challenges of the digital age. Innovation, quality, and cutting edge technology will also ensure that OSRAM retains its position at the pinnacle of light-based technology multinationals in the future.


OSRAM: Re-Inventing Light for more than 100 Years


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