EUCAR presentation to high-level conference of Society of Automotive Engineers in Chicago

20th September 2013 – EUCAR presentation to high-level conference of Society of Automotive Engineers in Chicago

Last Friday, EUCAR, represented by its Director S. Godwin, made a presentation on collaborative automotive research and innovation in Europe at the North American International Powertrain Conference in Chocago, USA.  The presentation was on the invitation of the Society of Automotive Engineers, in front of an audience of senior American automotive powertrain executives.  Also present on the panel were executives from Boeing, Nissan, Ford and the US Department of Energy, each speaking about a different aspect of collaboration within and outside the automotive industry.

The EUCAR presentation gave an overview of the EUCAR organisation and the scope of its collaborative R&I activities as well as an outline of the EU’s Research Framework Programmes.  The opportunities for co-funded collaborative research were presented, indicating how research needs are compiled and communicated, and how consortia are formed to create project ideas and apply for projects.  In particular, the processes and networks for collaboration within and outside EUCAR were explained, with a focus on the challenges that are met and how these are overcome by EUCAR’s members in collaboration between themselves and with other stakeholders.  Finally, there was a brief focus on the different mechanisms in the EU and US for automotive collaboration, with EUCAR’s correspondent organisation USCAR under consideration.  In addition, the existing cooperations between the European Commission and the US administration, in particular the Department of Transport, were highlighted.

Questions to EUCAR focused mostly on the mechanisms of accessing EU funding, including the processes for identifying topics and evaluating projects as well as the administrative procedures in the Framework Programmes.

An underlying theme in the presentations from the different speakers was the necessary condition for successful collaboration.  It is clear that the build-up of trust over time through careful cooperation is an important element in collaboration, whether horizontal or vertical in nature, whether in industrial alliances or funded R&I activities.