The car manufacturer Daimler and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are to establish a joint PhD research group focusing on electric vehicles, in a project which will see Daimler provide funding of €1.75 million over four years to support nine PhD students.
The Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg is putting in a further €500,000, while another company Behr, an automotive components supplier, will also fund a PhD student. The PhD research group is open to other small- and medium-sized companies that are interested in funding further students.
The PhD scheme extends the ‘Project House E-drive’ research collaboration set up in 2008 between Daimler and KIT to accelerate the commercialisation of electric and hybrid vehicles. The aim is to enhance knowledge transfer between science and industry in the field.
The State Minister of Science, Peter Frankenberg, said the PhD research group is a milestone in the cooperation between science and industry. “It opens up new chances for young scientists to further qualify and to conduct research into a major technology for the future – in cooperation with partners from industry and with a large potential of applications in practice.”
Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said, “Top technology needs top research,” and this is why Daimler is constantly searching for young scientists who are among the best of their discipline. “The new PhD research group will contribute to bringing viable ideas much more rapidly onto the road.”
The ten PhD students from various engineering disciplines will be selected by a steering committee consisting of representatives of KIT, Daimler, and Behr. In addition to their research at KIT, they will also be involved in the research and development work of Daimler, participating the Daimler Technical Academy, while Daimler employees will take part in training at KIT.