|October 24, 2006
Progress Through Knowledge Transfer: AUDI AG to Cooperate with Erlangen-Nuremberg University
Attention is being focused on nurturing young scientists: in future, AUDI AG, the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg and the City of Ingolstadt will enhance student researchers’ technical expertise through a mix of theory and practice. This cooperation, which is known as INI.FAU (Ingolstadt Institute der Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg) and will start in the winter semester 2006/2007, will last for three years and will accompany research students on the road to their doctorates.
INI.FAU is located in the SE (Simultaneous Engineering) Centre in Ingolstadt. The first three doctoral students have already begun their research work there. Each has an AUDI AG technical mentor at their side. “With this symbiosis of science and industry, Audi is supporting young, talented researchers as well as encouraging state-of-the-art research, innovations and enduring mobility,” explained Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of management at AUDI AG, at the opening presentation.
The scientists will work in the areas of software, electronics and materials. Vehicle electronics are developing at a rapid pace. The aim is to network different vehicle systems to make cars even safer, sportier and more comfortable. One of the goals of the INI.FAU cooperation is to help find creative solutions to this challenge. In the course of their project work, the young scientists will integrate more and more functions into the vehicles while simultaneously improving functionality for the driver.
INI.FAU’s aim is to create a scientific competence centre in which science and practical application go hand in hand. Therefore, the cooperation will not only support postgraduates but also offer opportunities for student research and final-year projects. INI.FAU’s interdisciplinary setup is a special feature: scientists from the most diverse faculties can take part. “I can well imagine that in an ideal situation, a physicist, a psychologist, a mechanical engineer and a medic from our University would all work here together. For our University’s strength lies in its subject diversity, which provides a basis for interdisciplinary links and innovative profiles,” commented Prof. Karl-Dieter Grüske, Chancellor of Erlangen-Nuremberg University.
INI.FAU is funded on a project basis by AUDI AG, which determines Research & Development projects in consultation with Erlangen-Nuremberg University. A management committee, which comprises an equal number of University and Audi representatives, guarantees the scientific and corporate relevance of the project content.
IFG, an industrial partnership company set up by the City of Ingolstadt, is supporting the cooperation with a donation to fund the Institute’s initial computer facilities in the SE building. The University and Audi are not the only organisations that will benefit: INI.FAU is bringing the next generation of scientists to Ingolstadt, promoting knowledge transfer and therefore boosting the region’s innovative strength. Mayor Dr. Alfred Lehmann said, “Ingolstadt was the location of the first and, for a long time, the only Bavarian University. It is most pleasing that the city has been able to take advantage of this outstanding university tradition. Following on from the Economics Faculty of the Eichstatt-Ingolstadt Catholic University, Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences and INI.TUM, INI.FAU represents a further piece of the jigsaw to be added to Ingolstadt’s scientific heritage.”
Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, founded in 1743, is the largest university in North Bavaria. 26,000 students are enrolled in its eleven faculties, of which nine are in Erlangen and two in Nuremberg. The strength of the University, with its 83 institutes, 550 professors and 2000 research staff, lies in its subject diversity, which provides a basis for interdisciplinary links and innovative profiles. The close cooperation between the Medical Faculty, the Natural Science Faculties and the Technical Faculty, which is for example reflected in medical technology and biotechnology, is unique in Bavaria. Eleven special research and transfer areas, six German Research Community (DFG) groups and seven graduate colleges ensure the quality of the research.
INI.FAU is an extension of INI.TUM, which is an existing cooperation with Munich Technical University that has been enjoying success since the winter semester 2003/2004. Audi is therefore now expanding the science and industry network further into the north of Bavaria – to Erlangen and Nuremberg.