Today, Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel announced the winners of the third and final round of the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition at Berlin: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will fund the five winners with a total of up to EUR 200 million over five years. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) participates in one of these clusters, the Electromobility South-West Cluster.
The cluster “Electromobility South-West” pools the competences of 48 partners that are renowned enterprises and research institutions in the regions of Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Ulm, which have a large proportion of automotive industries. Under the heading of “Road to global market”, the partners wish to optimally position Baden-Wuerttemberg in international competition in the field of electromobility. They will work for making the vision of a high-performance, low-pollutant, and market-driven mobility become reality. The partners are active in vehicle construction, energy technology, production technologies, and information and communication technologies. Hence, the cluster pursues a holistic approach to electromobility. The cluster focuses on market and costs, handling and comfort, and networked mobility.
At KIT, several institutes of the Mobility Systems Center, Energy Center, and COMMputation Focus are involved. Among the topics covered is inductive charging technology and its integration in a smart grid. Moreover, it is intended to develop components for a more efficient and lighter vehicle and the necessary production technology. To support more economic driving, the vehicles are to communicate with their environment. The coordinator of the cluster is e-mobil BW GmbH – the State Agency for Electromobility and Fuel Cell Technology.
The Leading-Edge Cluster Competition was launched by the BMBF to fund associations of companies, research institutions, and other actors in the field of technology and innovation, which bundle their forces in a region and, thus, contribute to innovative capacity and growth in Germany. The Federal Minister of Research Anette Schavan congratulated the winners: “The Leading-Edge Cluster Competition launched by BMBF in 2007 is a central part of the high-tech strategy of the Federal Government. Through the clusters, regional innovations are turned into values added for Germany.”
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.