Clean Transportation Technologies: Cooperation between Michigan and Germany

Three leading Michigan research universities and Fraunhofer signed a Letter of Intent

(PresseBox) (Pfinztal, ) Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, the three leading Michigan research universities, jointly known as University Research Corridor, have partnered with Fraunhofer to create a "Clean Transportation Innovation Cluster" (CTIC). The effort will bundle German and Michigan expertise in the development of high-performance batteries for electric vehicles.

The research organizations unveiled their concept for the CTIC public-private partnership at the "Fraunhofer - Michigan Partnership Forum" held at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal, Germany, on 20th March 2012. The objective of the joint initiative is to establish a transatlantic bridge for knowledge exchange and to generate a critical mass of skills that complement one another. A well-structured R&D program, with a balanced participation from industry and research, ranging from materials and components suppliers to equipment manufacturers and certification bodies can help to establish a network that leads to new business ideas and the foundation of new enterprises.

As part of a three-day investment mission in Europe, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited the Fraunhofer ICT to become familiar with Fraunhofer competences and facilities for advanced energy storage. He was accompanied by research and industry experts in the advanced battery field, many of them with production or product development facilities both in Germany and in Michigan.

UM, MSU, WSU and Fraunhofer used the opportunity to sign a Letter of Intent for their partnership and to present their CTIC concept to the delegation.

Georg Rosenfeld, President of Fraunhofer USA, explained: "Collaboration within the cluster should extend beyond that of a mere communication network. It is important to work together towards a shared objective, from the invention to the final product, which can best be achieved through concrete projects. This means that the funding will be used for particularly attractive projects that can only be implemented within a given network. While the public institutions create the basis for new products and services, the funds provided by industry will be used to implement and market these innovations. Being able to mobilize equal funding from the regions and the industry involved is a prerequisite for setting up an innovation cluster, and ensures commitment on the part of all those concerned."

Jeff Mason from the University Research Corridor Michigan USA added: "I was impressed of the amount of expertise brought together at the forum - especially the strong interest of the industry from Bosch, Dow, Dürr, Johnson Controls and many others will encourage us to continue."
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