has become an ‘anchor partner’ to the Stuttgart-based Startup Autobahn innovation platform which brings together established companies and startups with the aim of developing new technologies and bringing them to market readiness more rapidly.
As an anchor partner, Schaeffler is establishing a network together with various startups that spans the company’s innovation clusters: hydrogen and energy transition, electric and automated mobility, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT), bearing technologies, material and surface science, as well as artificial intelligence (AI).
Uwe Wagner, chief technology officer at Schaeffler, said: “As a global automotive and industrial supplier, we want to pioneer motion to advance how the world moves. Startup Autobahn is perfect for Schaeffler and is an important milestone in our innovation strategy.
“Our strategic cooperation with startups enables us to identify growth markets, enhance our core business together with strong partners, and offer innovative, sustainable future technologies.”
Startup Autobahn, which was founded in 2016 and now includes more than 30 partners, offers a network of 30,000 startups and since the platform was first established, more than 320 pilot projects have been developed. In addition to its headquarters in Stuttgart, the network also has locations in China, India and Singapore.
Sascha Karimpour, managing director at Plug & Play Germany and a co-initiator of Startup Autobahn, said: “We are extremely happy to welcome Schaeffler as the newest anchor partner to our platform. As a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors, the company brings over seven decades of expertise in motion and mobility to the table.
“It is clear that the company’s diverse product and system portfolio will enable valuable opportunities to startups. In collaboration with startups, OEMs and other partners, new ideas and technologies can be developed to the next level for implementation into new services, products and processes. We are looking forward to getting started.”
Managers and experts from Schaeffler’s specialist departments select the appropriate startups based on the innovation clusters. Pilot projects are then collaboratively developed and, in the next stage, presented to a wide audience at the twice-annual Expo Day
The subsequent objective is to work together in the continued development of these pilot projects to achieve market readiness. The partner network’s broad spectrum is a particularly attractive aspect.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Hosenfeldt, senior vice president of research and innovation and corporate technology, said: “It provides a place to meet existing customers and a large number of suppliers as well as new partners and exciting companies that have the technologies relevant to us.
“We see the further digitalisation of our products and production processes in particular as a source of major opportunities for innovation – for both the automotive and industrial sectors.”