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EDAG Receives Government Funding for Research

von links: Dr. Martin Hillebrecht (Leiter EDAG Kompetenz-Centers Leichtbau), Michael Brand (Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestags), Dr. Helge Braun (Staatssekretär des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung), Jörg Ohlsen (CEO der EDAG Group)

The subject of the visit to the Head Office of the EDAG Group in Fulda by Dr. Helge Braun, parliamentary state secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, and MP Michael Brand was energy efficiency and lightweight construction in the "car of the future". Braun came to Fulda to personally hand over the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's (BMBF) notification of the funding for research on the "car of the future".

The government has agreed to support research activities of the EDAG Group until 2014, as part of a joint project carried out with other well-known partners to develop more energy-efficient vehicles. The research project, "Process chain for resource-efficient composite production for electric mobility", is to receive government backing to the tune of € 1.53 million.
Braun stressed the "central importance of energy saving for the climate and cutting energy costs", and described "research on the energy-efficient car as a significant contribution to uphold the position of Germany as one of the leading car producing nations in the world".

"We are delighted about the funding of our projects, and welcome government support for the future-looking issue of lightweight design competence," said Jörg Ohlsen, EDAG Group CEO. In vehicle development, lightweight design is regarded as the royal discipline, and the current endeavours on the part of the automotive industry to put more electric-powered vehicles onto the market in the future mean that it is very much back in the spotlight. The electric-powered vehicles of tomorrow must become lighter, to give them greater range and to compensate further for the weight of the battery pack, which even today is still relatively high.
Michael Brand, MP for Fulda, expressed his pleasure that the government would be supporting a key issue for the future, and was impressed by EDAG's productivity; both at home and abroad, EDAG enjoys an excellent reputation for its work in lightweight design and electric mobility - and is thus an example for other high-power medium-sized companies throughout Germany.
As the leading independent engineering company, the EDAG Group responded to these demands by founding competence centres for electric mobility and lightweight construction in Fulda some years ago. "Being an engineering company, we are by definition the interface between manufacturers, research and suppliers," explains Dr. Martin Hillebrecht, Head of the EDAG Competence Centre for Lightweight Construction. "We are the lightweight construction technical scouts, and drive all innovative approaches ahead - from fibre composite and aluminium to new steel qualities. As we are an independent vehicle developer, people in the automotive industry tend to heed our recommendations, above all when it comes to the future feasibility and cost of the concepts in series production."

With its multiple award-winning "EDAG Light Car" (a design concept for a future electric vehicle) and associated technological carrier, which features all current lightweight design concepts in one vehicle structure, the EDAG Group has clearly demonstrated its skills and created an impulse which has attracted a great deal of attention.

"We like investing in projects of this type, to develop specific EDAG competencies and, of course, to demonstrate them to the public," explained Jörg Ohlsen. "We are not in a position to finance large-scale research projects alone, as, working as developers, we have no part in the subsequent sale of the vehicles, so the return on our investment is just a fractional amount. We need an alliance with the political world and its funding instruments, in order to be able to push ahead in the field of lightweight design, which will be important in the future."

During their visit, MP Michael Brand and State Secretary Dr. Helge Braun took the opportunity to compare the main areas of focus of the government's technology funding programme with industry's requirements.

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