The Lightweight ALLIANCE can now reveal the winners of the Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge (LOIC), aiming to reduce vehicle energy consumption and carbon emissions through innovative and affordable solutions to reducing the weight of cars.
The four winners moving to the next phase: F.Tech from Japan/Germany – with a manufacturing technology for complex stamping of high strength steels – , Imperial College London from the UK – with a manufacturing technology for fast warm stamping of sheet metals – , Outokumpu from Germany – with a combination of stainless steel materials and their respective manufacturing technologies -, and Vestaro, also from Germany – with an epoxy-based resin system – are already in touch with relevant manufacturers, suppliers and knowledge partners within ALLIANCE and working on their technologies, as chosen by ika-RWTH and Bax & Company.
They will help the participants define the demonstrators that they will focus on, and provide additional information about their technologies – mechanical behaviour data sheets, cost and environmental performance data that will be used for the Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) and Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the selected technologies, etc.
Once the demonstrators have been defined, ika-RWTH and other ALLIANCE partners will work together with the winners to develop the necessary simulation models, which will be implemented into the virtual vehicle model for testing. In parallel, Bax & Company, University of Florence and ika-RWTH will work with the winners to develop the the LCC and LCA of the technologies.
The technologies of the four winners will be evaluated and presented at the side event of the Aachen Body Engineering Days on September 20.
The challenge received 22 applications from nine countries – a real success given the topic and scope. LOIC’s objective was to discover organisations working with innovative lightweight technologies and to further develop their solutions, by connecting them with large industrial players.
The selection criteria ensured a high quality of the selected applications. This included whether the proposed idea met the challenges arising from cutting transport CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and reducing the weight of vehicles by 25% while complying with strict cost targets.
Although only four winners were chosen, the partners have identified many more innovative solutions and are in contact with the applicants to support their development in any way they can.
Through the LOIC, the ALLIANCE partners learned how such initiatives can help map the innovation landscape and identify key innovators worldwide, no matter the sector.
The success of the challenge was largely thanks to support from the European Council for Automotive R&D, EUCAR, and leading social network for innovators, Innoget, who showcased the challenge on their platform to attract the best innovations.