Europe’s Leading Car Manufacturers Announce Winners of Open Innovation Challenge to Reduce Emissions

25th May 2018

Europe’s leading car manufacturers, including Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen and CRF – the Research Center of FCA, together with the rest of ALLIANCE have announced the winners of the Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge (LOIC), which aims to reduce vehicle energy consumption and carbon emissions through innovative and affordable solutions to reducing the weight of cars.

The four winners: F.Tech from Japan/Germany – with a manufacturing technology for complex stamping of high strength steels -, Imperial College London from the UK – with a manufacturing technology for fast warm stamping of sheet metals -, Outokumpu from Germany – with a combination of stainless steel materials and their respective manufacturing technologies -, and Vestaro also from Germany – with an epoxy-based resin system – are already in touch with relevant manufacturers, suppliers and knowledge partners within ALLIANCE and working on their technologies, as chosen by ika-RWTH and Bax & Company.

The technologies of the four winners will be evaluated and presented at the side event of the Aachen Body Engineering Days on September 20.

The challenge received 22 applications from nine countries – a real success given the topic and scope. LOIC’s objective was to discover organisations working with innovative lightweight technologies and to further develop their solutions, by connecting them with large industrial players.

The selection criteria ensured a high quality of the selected applications. This included whether the proposed idea met the challenges arising from cutting transport CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and reducing the weight of vehicles by 25% while complying with strict cost targets.

Although only four winners were chosen, the partners have identified many more innovative solutions and are in contact with them to support their development in any way they can.

“We were amazed by the extensive feedback we received throughout the challenge. This underlines how much effort is currently undertaken in research and development facilities all over the world to address lightweighting and thus enabling an efficient and sustainable future mobility. 

“Phase II of the challenge foresees an intensive technical exchange with the four winners. We wish we could have accepted more applicants but want to invest as much time as possible into the winners.”

– Dinesh Thirunavukkarasu, ika-RWTH

Through the LOIC, the ALLIANCE partners learned how such initiatives can help map the innovation landscape and identify key innovators worldwide, no matter the sector.

The success of the challenge was largely thanks to support from the European Council for Automotive R&D, EUCAR, and leading social network for innovators, Innoget, who showcased the challenge on their platform to attract the best innovations.

More information about the Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge can be found on the ALLIANCE website.

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