Paris, 20 September 2013 – The Austrian Ambassador in France, Dr. Ursula Plassnik, together with CEO of AVL List GmbH, Prof. Helmut List and the Director of the Austrian Foreign Trade Centre in Paris, Dr. Herbert Preclik, organised a high-level colloquium at the Austrian Embassy in Paris on 18 September 2013. The colloquium on "Sustainable Powertrains" was intended to boost and strengthen cooperation in automotive research and development between Austria and France.
Decision-makers of major Austrian and French companies, such as PSA, Renault, Michelin, Valeo, Thales, ACOME, SAS Syngas, AVL, Magna Steyr, BRP-Powertrain, Thien, MIBA,and internationally renowned research institutions, such as the Pierre et Marie Curie University, Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, IFSTTAR (Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, de l'aménagement et des réseaux), Institut VeDeCom (Institut du Véhicule Décarboné Communicant et de sa Mobilité), CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), Karl-Franzens University Graz, Graz University of Technology, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Virtual Vehicle Institute from Graz discussed innovative research projects for future green mobility.
"France and Austria agree that research and innovation are the real drivers of competitiveness and that they will create the jobs of the future. The funds that Austria invests in research and development will reach a new record high this year, by the way. By investing 2.81% of its GNP, Austria ranks fifth in this field in the EU", Ambassador Plassnik explained. "Both France and Austria have every reason to be proud of their outstanding scientists and the strong automotive sector, which is a dynamic factor in their economies. Closer cooperation in research and development will enhance the technological expertise in both countries even further. In addition, future-oriented cross-border research projects are certainly adding to Austria's good reputation in France as a country of research and innovation", Dr. Ursula Plassnik said.
"One of the major challenges of the global automotive industry is the reduction of emissions, and of CO2 emissions in particular. Research and the development of technologies are central in ensuring energy-efficient, low-emission and affordable mobility also in future", the CEO of AVL-List GmbH, Prof. Helmut List said in his introductory statement.
France as well as Austria have launched pioneering technologies on the global market over the past few years. Closer cooperation is gaining in importance as a key factor of successful development.
The general trend is pointing towards hybrid systems and fully electric powertrains to be able to meet the increasingly stricter emission regulations. Traditional internal combustion engines, however, also still harbour very significant improvement potentials.
Managing complexity is of the essence in all of this work – the internal combustion engine, e-motor, transmission, battery, electronic control units, fuel and an increasing networking between vehicle and infrastructure will need to be integrated in a highly functional and robust integrated system.
"We can only solve these challenges successfully if we work together, in Europe and in the world, and if we are ready to stride across national, sectoral and research borders", Prof. List concluded.
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