Daimler and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology initiate a research cooperation for electric drive systems


Stuttgart / Karlsruhe, Germany, Nov 21, 2008

* The "e-drive Project House" is one of Germany's largest cooperation for higher education

* A unique alliance of competence between science and industry expedites market maturity for innovative technologies

* Future perspectives for education, research, and employment in Baden-Württemberg

With the establishment of the "e-drive Project House" at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Daimler AG and KIT are initiating a research cooperation for electric drive systems. By uniting the fields of power electronics, control systems, electrical energy storage units, and electrical machinery under one roof for the first time in the "e-drive Project House," valuable synergies are being created for streamlining research activities in sustainable mobility. This unique pooling of expertise from science and industry will considerably expedite the market maturity of pure electric drive and hybrid vehicles. The "e-drive Project House," which is strategically devised as a long-term undertaking, is setting out to attract further scientific institutes and cooperation partners in order to extend the research consortium.

"Baden-Württemberg is Germany's top automotive state. Technological innovations for sustainable mobility are the key to securing the future, to fastening growth, and to creating employment," said Günther Oettinger, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, on the occasion of the signing of the contracts. "The 'e-drive Project House' is a prime example of the close cooperation between science and industry, with the objective of rapidly transforming fundamental research into future technologies. KIT is an excellent partner for such an undertaking."

Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "It is our declared aim to secure a leading role in the field of alternative drive systems. The electrification of the automobile is playing a key role in this endeavor. Together with KIT's excellent scientists, we are demonstrating yet again the high innovative power of the State of Baden-Württemberg."

"Together with Daimler AG, we have developed an innovative cooperation concept that is bringing together these two partners in a particularly close-knit venture, from which we expect good and fast progress," emphasized Prof. Eberhard Umbach, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Karlsruhe Research Center. "With KIT, comprising the University of Karlsruhe and the Karlsruhe Research Center, we intend to set new standards, also in partnership with industry. The 'e-drive Project House' bridges the often lamented gap between industry and science in exemplary fashion and thus has extraordinary innovative potential," said Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, President of the University of Karlsruhe (TH).

By regularly commissioning research projects, Daimler will ensure full-capacity operation of the "e-drive Project House" on a long-term basis and also involve its own employees. KIT will contribute its scientific staff, its premises, and its laboratory infrastructure. In view of the significance of this future-oriented undertaking for Baden-Württemberg, the State Ministry of Science, Research, and Art will subsidize this cooperation in the area of fundamental research with half a million euros annually. From 2009 onwards, this scientific environment will receive further reinforcement of its existing competencies through Daimler's "Hybrid Electric Vehicle" Foundation Professorship, which will be supported by the Daimler fund in the innovation agency Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

Future perspectives for education, research, and employment

With Daimler's "Hybrid Electric Vehicle" Foundation Professorship, an internationally competitive research program is to be established in this sector and the conditions for scientific activity in Baden-Württemberg thereby further optimized. The Foundation Professorship, which will cover a period of five years, will concentrate on the key emphasis topics of electrical drive and storage systems.

About Daimler
Daimler AG, Stuttgart, with its businesses Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Financial Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans, and Daimler Buses, is a globally leading producer of premium passenger cars and the world's largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Daimler Financial Services provides a broad range of offers relating to financing, leasing, insurance, and fleet management. Daimler distributes its products in almost every country of the world and has production facilities on five continents. The company's founders Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz opened up a new chapter of history in 1886 as the inventors of the automobile. Daimler is the automotive pioneer. The company sees it as its pride and obligation to live up to its responsibility to the environment and to society and to shape the future of safe and sustainable mobility – with groundbreaking technologies and high-quality products. The current brand portfolio comprises Mercedes-Benz, the world's most valuable automotive brand, as well as smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Mitsubishi Fuso, Setra, Orion, and Thomas Built Buses. Daimler is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt, New York, and Stuttgart (stock symbol DAI). With more than 270,000 employees, the Group sold a total of 2.1 million vehicles in 2007. Sales amounted to €99.4 billion, and the EBIT reached a level of €8.7 billion. Daimler strives for sustainable growth and profitability at industry-leading levels as a high-performance organization committed to excellence.

Further information on KIT is available on the Internet at: www.kit.edu

About KIT
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) combines the expertise of the Karlsruhe Research Center at the Helmholtz Association and the University of Karlsruhe. This union has created a center of international excellence in research and higher education in the natural sciences and engineering. KIT employs a staff of 8,000 with an annual budget of €700 million. KIT is founded on the three pillars of research – teaching – innovation. This Karlsruhe-based institute is a leading European energy research center and plays a globally significant role in the nanosciences. KIT sets new standards in higher education and in promoting up-and-coming young talent and attracts top scientists from all over the world. KIT is also a leading innovation partner in industry.

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