Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The market environment for the European automotive sector is characterised by weak economic growth, limited investments and declining sales of new vehicles in the mature markets. The accelerating introduction of electrified and other alternatively fuelled vehicles puts an additional challenge to the European automotive industry, in particular to its related supply chain. As a consequence production and supply strategies need to contemplate a mix of new products combined with innovative services, able to respond to customer needs in a flexible way. In the area of electrified vehicles this requires specific designs and the introduction of new technologies and service innovation for vehicles (e.g. electric batteries, e-components and systems, integration of high pressure CNG and H2 tanks and supply components) in manufacturing chains which must be matched by innovative production methods and processes in order to make them affordable and competitive compared with conventional cars.

Scope: Proposals should address all the following domains:

·      Advanced combinations of organisational and service innovation, advanced design, manufacturing and testing technologies as means of increasing flexibility and near-real time reactivity to changing market demand while allowing for large numbers of different configurations (mass customisation), optimising low volume production and reducing costs.

·      Specific concepts for innovative multi-powertrain platforms and flexible methods and processes for their integration into these flexible and responsive chains.

·      Integration of the full spectrum of components needed for the production of electric, hybrid and alternative fuel driven cars into such multi-variant chains taking into account the global nature of the new supply framework structures.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 to 10 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Actions will demonstrate their potential to mature the Technology Readiness Level (TRL; please see part G of the General Annexes) of technologies and processes against sector specific competitiveness goals, in particular:

·      Retaining leading edge European automotive product and process capabilities and jobs, boosting industry’s share of GDP to 20% by 2020 by transitioning to a low-carbon, zero pollution and resource efficient road transport.

·      Developing advanced collaboration schemes on a global scale integrating original equipment manufacturers and suppliers (all level of tiers, greatly benefiting SMEs) across new worldwide supply chains deriving from the growth of electrified vehicles and their components in newly designed multi-powertrain, multi-interface vehicle models.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

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