The incredible pace at which the automotive industry is transforming, and the key role that research and innovation (R&I) play in this, was highlighted at the EUCAR conference ‘Navigating a New Era of Mobility’ in Brussels.
At this occasion, the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) also celebrated its 25th anniversary by looking back at hundreds of EUCAR projects that delivered real world benefits to society. Even more important were the timely discussions with experts on the current and future challenges facing Europe’s automotive sector.
Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, focussed on how to address those major challenges through Horizon Europe, the EU’s next R&I framework programme. “There can be no doubt that the automotive sector has an important and urgent role to play in fighting climate change,” the VIP speaker underlined.
Burtscher: “One of the specific objectives of Horizon Europe is to generate knowledge, to strengthen the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing Union policies, and to support the access to and uptake of innovative solutions in European industry and society to address global challenges, including climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.“
Axel Heinrich, Chairman of EUCAR, provided the industry’s perspective on the way forward. “Indeed, the aim of EUCAR is to contribute to safe, clean and affordable mobility by delivering clear societal benefits,” said Heinrich, who is Executive Director Group Innovation at Volkswagen AG. “Throughout the years, we have created a unique enabling environment for pre-competitive, automotive research. This has put Europe in the driver’s seat of automotive R&I around the world.“