Today, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Schaeffler AG signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a collaborative research project. Schaeffler and KIT will investigate future-oriented issues relating to mobility and develop pertinent solutions. In this way, new standards will be set for collaboration in research, development, and early industrialization of hybrid and all-electric drive systems and their components in order to meet future mobility requirements.
Dr. Peter Fritz, KIT Vice President of Research and Innovation, and Dr. Ulrich Breuer, KIT Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs, as well as Professor Peter Gutzmer, CTO of Schaeffler AG, today signed the MoU on KIT Campus East. This mutual declaration specifies key elements of a future contract.
“This partnership with a leading institution like KIT will open a new chapter in Schaeffler’s collaboration with universities,” says Professor Peter Gutzmer. The globally active automotive and industry supplier will be present on KIT Campus East according to the “Company-on-Campus” concept and deploy employees in the “Schaeffler E-lab at KIT”. This will ensure direct, intensive, and result-oriented cooperation. Initially, a team comprising five employees from Schaeffler and KIT each will be formed. Research topics will be controlled by a joint steering group. As a special advantage, the expertise and infrastructure facilities of both partners, e.g. test stands, laboratories, and knowledge networks, can be used in synergy. “The ‘Schaeffler E-lab at KIT’ will provide an attractive working environment for development engineers, economists, humanists, social scientists, and system-oriented scientists,” says Dr. Peter Fritz, KIT Vice President of Research and Innovation.
Collaboration will further expand cross-disciplinary, application-relevant research of the KIT Mobility Systems Center and, thus, strengthen innovation at KIT. In particular, research aspects and requirements for sustainable electric mobility will be investigated, developed, and evaluated directly on the new systems of Schaeffler AG much quicker than it has been possible so far. “This will strengthen systems, methods, and process research of KIT in the areas of electric mobility and drive systems,” says Fritz.
KIT’s expertise in the field of electric mobility, the existing infastructure, and the vicinity to the Bühl location were the most important reasons for Schaeffler’s decision to collaborate with KIT. “Collaboration in Karlsruhe will also strengthen Schaeffler’s traditional location and LuK headquarters in Bühl, which were established in 1965,” says Professor Peter Gutzmer.“
I am very pleased that we have been able to win KIT, a leading institute of technology in Germany, as cooperation partner. This will enable Schaeffler to carry out long-term projects in a university environment. I am sure that together we will be able to set new trends for future mobility,” summarizes Professor Peter Gutzmer.
Schaeffler with its product brands INA, LuK, and FAG is a worldwide leading manufacturer of roller bearing and plain bearing solutions and of linear and direct drive technologies as well as a renowned supplier of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions, and chassis applications to automotive industry. The globally active group of companies generated sales of approx. 10.7 billion Euros in 2011. With about 74,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of the largest German and European industrial companies owned by a family. With 180 locations in over 50 countries, Schaeffler has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, sales companies, engineering offices, and training centers.
The Mobility Systems Center pools KIT activities relating to vehicle technology. Presently, 40 KIT institutes with about 800 employees are working on methodological and technical fundamentals for tomorrow’s vehicles. It is their objective to develop concepts, technologies, methods, and processes for future mobility considering the complex interactions of vehicle, driver, traffic, infrastructure, and society.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.