Project of the week: 'automotive-bw' to enhance cooperation and innovation in the automotive sector in Baden-Wuerttemberg
(05 June 2012)
The automotive sector is one of the backbones for prosperity and growth in Baden-Wuerttemberg, one of Germany's richest regions. Factors like environmental requirements, rising fuel costs, change of mobility needs and growing global competition increase pressure for future development in this sector. To face these challenges and in order to enhance cooperation and innovation in the automotive sector, the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg has reinforced cluster development and smart specialisation by connecting eight local clusters initiatives through an 'umbrella cluster', 'automotive-bw'.
The project 'automotive-bw' has been operational since Mai 2010. A common management structure has been established and local services have been opened to member companies of all local clusters, mainly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) but also large companies, suppliers as well as manufacturers. Three long term oriented working groups of technical managers mentored by one representative of a global company and one high level researcher - so-called TecNetGroups- have been created, two more are in preparation. The TecNet platform of ideas, a tailor-made platform for the automotive sector also helps to cooperate on innovation.
'automotive-bw', which benefited from an EU investment of EUR 500.000 EUR, brings together companies from the whole value chain to discuss innovation needs and develop solutions in a systemic approach, which didn't occur before its creation. 'automotive-bw' reduces innovation cycles significantly and enables supplier SMEs to deliver innovative products to manufacturers quicker and better. 16 people work for the 'automotive-bw'. Studies foresee that potential 10.000 jobs in the fields of vehicle manufacturing can be created with help of this umbrella cluster.
Dr. Albrecht Fridrich, CEO RKW Baden-Württemberg GmbH and responsible for the implementation of the project:
“We are overwhelmed by the interest of companies to sign into our TecNet Groups. The trustful and open discussions resulted already in several cooperation agreements between companies. Participants in our TecNet meetings confirmed, that facilitating personal relationships amongst people is the most efficient tool to foster cooperation between companies. Joining forces of our local cluster initiatives is becoming a success story for the automotive sector in Baden-Wurttemberg.”
More information on 'automotive-bw':
- RKW Baden-Württemberg GmbH (project implementer)
- Ministry for Finance and Economy Baden-Wurttemberg (intermediate body)