The Volkswagen Group, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. In 2011, the Group increased the number of vehicles delivered to customers to 8.3 million (2010: 7.3 million), corresponding to a 12.3 percent share of the world passenger car market. The annual turnover exceeded 159.3 billion Euros in 2011 and the expenditures for R&D with its 35,412 employees aggregate of approx. 7.23 billion Euros. These employees as a share of the total workforce across the group conduct 6.9%.
The Group operates 94 production facilities in 22 countries and has a broad product range stretching from economical passenger car to luxury and sports cars, light & heavy duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Around the world, nearly 502,000 employees produce more than 34.500 vehicles each working day.
It is the goal of the Group to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which are competitive on an increasingly tough market and which set world standards in their respective classes. So in summary the R&D activities mainly focused on expanding the product portfolio and improving the functionality, quality, safety and environmental compatibility of Group products. The ideas contributed by our employees and the expertise of external partners played a key role. The Volkswagen Group is interested in the application of new developments in all automotive areas not only to meet all relevant technical and legal requirements but also to satisfy customer demands on a consistently high level.
Volkswagen's Group Research is working on every field of automotive application and is responsible for identifying, evaluating and transferring innovative technologies to advanced engineering or series development departments of all brands of the Volkswagen. Over 663 engineers working in different research areas like Electronics, Environmental and Mobility Science, Vehicle Technology and Dynamics, Manufacturing Science, Powertrain and Engine Technology and Control, Pedestrian Protection, Pre-Crash, Accidentology.
Volkswagen has experience in the co-ordination of and participation in national and EC funded projects and networks involving European car manufacturers, suppliers, research organisations and universities (e.g. Hybrid; Inga; Linacor; NIP 1-4; HE-lion; TwinDrive; Leistungsdichte E-Maschine; Famos I und II; Now; HSD-Stahlanwendungen; Aktiv AS; Co Car; Timmo; Sim TD; Nils; Biotex; Nanokat; FeCeAlMn; Efficoat; Durovision; Aktiv VM; Klimaschutz; Koline; LithoREC; Avilus; E-Golf; EMIL; E-Komfort; GLANZ; LiSSi; FP6: RENEW, NICE, HyTRAN, InMar, PReVENT, APROSYS, APSN, ECO-ENGINE, SUPERLIGHTCAR, SILENCE, TRACE, POMEROL, HOPE, COMESAFETY, DYNASTY, MYCAREVENT, ACDC, PISA; FP7: CO2NTROL, DACOTA, euroFOT, FIMCAR, FLOWHEAD, HAVE-IT, INTERSAFE II, MID-MOD, PreDrive C2X, InteractIVe, Oversee, GENEVA, ASCENS, QCOALA, OPTFUEL, SAFIER, POWERFUL, AutoStack).
Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A (CRF)
CRF was established in 1976 to enable the innovation, research and development needs of the FIAT Group to be satisfied. The core competence is centred on land transportation: advanced vehicles and propulsion systems, innovative components with associated manufacturing processes and methodologies for product development. In developing and applying these core competencies, considerable emphasis is placed on the transfer of advanced technologies from automotive applications to other sectors of industry and business areas. To this end, CRF actively supports the growth of SMEs working outside the arena of the automotive industry in fields which range from business process re-engineering, advanced product and process methodologies, to micromechanics and optics, IT methodologies, telematics and others.
With a full-time workforce of more than 850 trained professionals, CRF offers a wide range of technical competencies and is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories for the testing of powertrains, electro-magnetic compatibility, experimental noise and vibration analysis, driving simulation and virtual reality, in addition to facilities for the development of new materials and manufacturing processes, opto-electronics and micro-technologies. Specific areas of expertise at CRF, relevant to this project proposal, include: telematics, mobility and intermodality systems, preventive safety systems and solutions, electric/electronics architectures.