German-French alliance for e-mobility technologies
‘If you want to strengthen innovative capacity, you have to forge international alliances. We are set to expand our longstanding and close working relations with our partners in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region as part of a push to get more e-mobility projects underway,’ said France Loogen, Managing Director of e-mobil BW GmbH at the kick-off workshop of the German-French Alliance for Innovative Mobility Technologies – AllFraTech.
Cross-border e-mobility projects
Backed by Germany’s Federal Education and Research Ministry (BMBF), the German cluster Electric Mobility South-West and its French counterpart LUTB-RACCC (LUTB Mobility Solution Systems – Rhône -Alpes Automotive Cluster) started working on a joint strategy at the start of the year that will drive forward cross-border e-mobility research and development projects. ‘To promote our company’s competitive edge in an international context, it is crucial to engage in cross-frontier partnerships. Building on our long-standing and trust-based relations with e-mobilBW, we are now corralling the cutting-edge expertise on hand in the companies and research institutions involved in the two networks,’ says March Gohlke, Managing Director of LUTB-RAAC.
SMEs are to be the beneficiaries
Around 60 representatives of companies and research institutions from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and Baden-Württemberg attended this kick-off workshop to sound out the possibilities for joint technological ventures and to formulate initial ideas for joint research and development projects. Buoyed by supportive cooperation, AllFraTech offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) especially a new opportunity to establish initial research contacts outside their own country and to find new partners and develop markets. The clusters’ global players, universities and research institutions are also very keen to cooperate with strong German and French partners in pre-competition projects in the innovative e-mobility sector.
Similar structures – same objectives
Baden-Württemberg and the Rhône -Alpes Region have a great deal in common. Both regions are known for their automotive industries and their highly innovative medium-sized supply industry. Both employ cluster strategies and have been involved from the outset in the European network ‘Four Motors for Europe.’
To facilitate targeted cooperation in the key innovative sector of e-mobility, Electric Mobility South-West and LUTB-RAAC signed a joint declaration back in 2013 already and have since stepped up their exchanges, for example through joint events and delegation trips. The research alliance AllFraTech is thus a logical step forward that will translate their efforts into concrete projects.
A leading-edge cluster: Electric Mobility South-West
With around 120 stakeholders from industry and science, the leading-edge cluster Electric Mobility South-West is one of the major regional networks in the field of e-mobility. Coordinated by Baden-Württemberg’s state agency for electric mobility and fuel cell technology, e-mobil BW GmbH, the cluster aims to advance the industrialisation of electric mobility in Germany. It is however also tasked with positioning Germany’s federal state of Baden-Württemberg as a leading provider of sustainable and smart mobility solutions. With a focus on four innovative sectors – Vehicles, Energy, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Production – the cluster networks big name companies, medium-sized businesses and small enterprises, particularly from the Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm axis, with outstanding research institutes on site. Furthermore, targeted working groups make for systematic and interdisciplinary handling of a range of different topics, such as networked and automated driving, utility vehicles or internationalisation.
French innovation network as partner
The French innovation network LUTB-RAAC, which is made up of the LUTB Mobility Solutions Systems Cluster and the Automotive Cluster for the Rhône-Alpes Region, brings together more than 185 leading companies from the car industry, research facilities and universities. LUTB focuses on researching mobility solutions for people and goods in urban conurbations, on vehicle electrification and digitalisation and on ecological issues, too. The objective of the Rhône-Alpes Automotive Cluster (RAAC) is to foster interdisciplinary cooperation, with a view to strengthening the innovative capacity of the region’s automotive sector, affirming RAAC’s position as France’s leading network of technology suppliers. A member of the umbrella organisation ‘Filière Automobile & Mobilités’, LUTB-RAAC also has good strategic connections at national level. (HCN)
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