On the evening of May 30th, Taicang Inclusion Factory was honored to become winner of the “More than a Market Awards” for outstanding efforts in social engagement. After being the winner in 2016, Inclusion Factory won this year again with their project “Inclusion Advisory”.

Inclusion Factory has been engaged in facilitating the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities into society through vocational training and meaningful employment. In 2018, the company launched the Inclusion Advisory with the aim to provide professional support to enterprises that are seeking to employ people with intellectual disabilities in their operations.

Flex, one of the world top 500 electronics manufacturer, was the first to heed the call. In 2018, Flex decided to venture even further. After an intensive cooperation with the Taicang Inclusion Advisory, the two partners created Flex’s Mechanical Inclusive Factory; currently hiring 10 people with intellectual disabilities working in a production line. After having received “More than a Market Award”, the Inclusion Advisory hopes to further promote its model of inclusive employment into companies around China. We hope that even more people with intellectual disabilities could benefit from it and find a meaningful employment.

The Taicang Inclusion Factory would like to thank Taicang municipal government and the Taicang Economy Development Area Bureau for awarding our project with the 2017 social responsibility award! 

The inclusion Factory project could not have become a reality without the strong cooperation, outstanding support and innovative spirit of the Taicang Local government!

Taicang is known for setting the standards for High-quality manufacturing and solid cooperation with foreign enterprises; Now, Taicang is also known for its leading role in promoting social inclusion and the creation of equal opportunities for people with disabilities in our society!

Thank you!
And may we have an even more prosperous 2018, together!

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Thilo Koeppe on CSR in China and the Industry 3.5 concept


(Article published in German Chamber magazine GCTicker, issue Oct-Nov 2016, download PDF)


Industry 4.0 focuses on increasing efficiency, quality and flexibility, while adopting cyber connectivity. Where Industry 4.0 puts CPS (cyber-physical systems) in its focus, the Inclusion Factory’s Industry 3.5 concept focuses on human talents namely Talents with Disabilities (TwD). The aim is to provide challenged individuals with the training to produce demanding cable harnesses and assemble a variety of products using specially designed fixtures and machinery.

The Inclusion Factory is an innovative example of consolidated action; as part of the Taicang roundtable, more than 80 partners joined forces to establish the workshop, which is the first institution in China to offer a meaningful employment solution to individuals who are intellectually or physically challenged under real market conditions. The workshop is based on a model established in Germany by Lebenshilfe e.V. and focuses on becoming an integral part of the industrial value chain of companies operating in and around Taicang.

GC Ticker team met with Thilo Koeppe, chairman of the board of directors, Taicang Inclusion Factory to further discuss CSR in China and the Industry 3.5 concept.

What are the challenges and advantages of beginning CSR projects in China?

It’s hard to speak about this topic generally but I can tell you a little from our experience. The main challenge of starting a larger scale CSR project was certainly getting the local authorities intrigued by the concept and its potential impact. For us, the most important assets are the employees. Without the help of the local disabled federation we would not have been able to identify our Talents with Disabilities. Furthermore, we required governmental support to provide our employees with regular work permits and social insurance coverage. Consequently, the backing of the local authorities is key. Once those hurdles were successfully negotiated, the CSR engagement became highly rewarding due to amazing public interest helping us tremendously in increasing the number of supporting organizations. Read more