In the context of global competition there are numerous initiatives which position themselves to focus on electric mobility development. These initiatives threaten the traditionally strong position of the German mobility and automotive industry. In order to optimally position Baden-Wuerttemberg in this innovation race the state has chosen a plan of cluster formation.
The goal of the cluster “Electric Mobility South-West”, which was established back in 2008 and has been coordinated by e-mobil BW since 2010, is to play a key role in the implementation of the vision of strong, low-emission and market-driven mobility. The focus here is on the strategic fields of market and costs, handling and comfort, and interlinked mobility.
The cluster exploits the unique opportunity offered by its region Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm to link together noteworthy large, medium-sized and small enterprises in the technological fields of vehicle construction, energy engineering, information and communication technology (ICT), and the interdisciplinary field of production engineering with local research institutes. Responsible for the management of the cluster here is e-mobil BW, which also supports the activities of the cluster with methodical approaches to modern project management.
In 2012 the consortium successfully participated in the 3rd round of the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition, as part of the High-Tech Strategy 2020 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The award includes funding of 40 million euros for research projects, which is to advance the development of electric vehicles ripe for large scale production, their production itself, charging technologies, and IT solutions.
The time period for the federal funding is a total of five years, and ends in 2017. Thirteen innovative projects have already been defined and approved for the initial funding phase until 2015. One example here is new production techniques which are to lower costs for the manufacture of energy storage systems. New concepts for interlinked mobility, wireless charging or a new kind of diagnosis management focus on handling, comfort and environmental friendliness, in addition to costs.
Building on the projects in the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition, additional funding from the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg is intended for the implementation of further measures for cluster development. Here, education, advanced and specialised training and the internationalisation of the cluster are key elements. These are intended to secure existing jobs on one hand, and make Baden-Wuerttemberg more attractive as a location for new workers on the other.