New Mobility: always in motion
The urban mobility of the future presents us with complex challenges. Solutions can only be found by pooling knowledge from the worlds of research, industry and politics. The location of Bavaria – and especially LabCampus as a centre of innovation for cross-sector and cross-industry cooperation – offer ideal conditions for necessary collaboration.
Mobility is part of our nature - and is constantly changing
The French philosopher Blaise Pascal knew something important as far back as 400 years ago: “Our nature consists in motion.” And nothing has changed to this day. The only thing that has changed to a considerable extent is how we move. Besides the obvious examples, such as the car and plane, this particularly applies to mobility in our cities.
When Blaise Pascal wrote these words, Naples was one of Europe’s biggest cities with around 300,000 residents. Back then, mobility was the privilege of the wealthy. As such, the question of urban mobility didn’t arise. People walked, rode on horseback or were chauffeured around in carriages. Nowadays, around 4.6 billion of us live in cities – some with populations of over 30 million.
The mobility of the future calls for cross-sector innovations
New ideas are clearly needed. They are brought together under the ubiquitous buzzword of new mobility. Behind it are concepts such as micromobility, car sharing, smart parking and many more besides. They all pursue the aim of saving resources, increasing efficiency and improving the quality of life in urban settings. To this end, new mobility is concerned with technologising mobility – by means of networking, automation, electrification and digitalization. That’s the theory at least. Putting it into practice requires collaboration. After all, the knowledge needed to create solutions that are fit for the future is undoubtedly already out there, but it is distributed across various players. Only cooperation will enable all parties to rise to the increasingly complex challenges of the mobility of the future. It is helpful for established companies to cooperate with start-ups, for example, as it allows them to familiarise themselves with new technological solutions and take advantage of a completely different kind of corporate thinking. The involvement of people whose expertise lies outside the subject area is also an unimagined source of inspiration and can result in cross-sector inventions. And the world of politics should also be included in the innovation processes at an early stage. By doing so, ideas can be transformed into real products and services more quickly.
The Free State of Bavaria is renowned for its collaboration projects
Bavaria is the perfect breeding ground for innovation. Not only on account of its diverse possibilities but primarily due to the overwhelming willingness of key mobility players to take advantage of these possibilities. One such player is amplimind, a joint venture between Audi and Lufthansa Industry Solutions, which has set up shop at LabCampus – the collaboration and innovation location at Munich Airport. The Bavarian mobility hubs are another exciting example, where SMEs, major companies, start-ups, investors and research institutions work together on the digital transformation of the German mobility industry. And collaborations made in Bavaria even work on a global scale, as demonstrated by the cooperation between MT Aerospace and Boeing. The Augsburg-based company is working with the US giant on core and upper stage tank systems for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Among other things, the excellence of Bavarian universities forms the basis for such collaborations. They supply the companies with internationally competitive, highly qualified personnel in all STEM professions. They also make sure that the talent can put their knowledge into practice as quickly as possible.
LabCampus as a centre of innovation in the heart of Europe
The Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR), which links universities with industrial partners, is an example of how the research community cooperates with the business world. Just like LabCampus, a physical melting pot for collaborative innovation has been created here. It offers proximity to a major international airport, a diverse ecosystem, co-creation spaces, networking opportunities, prototyping spaces and a supporting infrastructure. It is no coincidence that the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy at the Technical University of Munich will already be taking up residence and renting space at LabCampus. “The ability to combine research and business, the special architectural spaces for cooperation and networking, and the ideal national and international connections make LabCampus the perfect centre of innovation in the heart of Europe,” said an enthusiastic Nathalie Leroy, CFO of Munich Airport, at the official opening of LabCampus.
New mobility solutions are maturing particularly well in Bavaria
As a result, new projects involving the research community and industrial partners are constantly emerging here – and elsewhere in Bavaria – particularly in areas such as autonomous driving, e-mobility and sustainable transport, which fall under the umbrella of new mobility. In addition to the qualified talent and research partners, the combination of strong aviation and automotive industries, cooperation networks, infrastructure and government support is a decisive factor here. In this ecosystem, innovative mobility solutions come to fruition particularly quickly. Bavaria may be famous for Airbus, Audi, BMW and MAN, but the local automotive, commercial vehicle and supplier industry is much larger. It comprises around 1,100 companies along the entire value chain. These include major industry players such as Bosch, Brose, Dräxlmaier, Rexroth, Schaeffler and Webasto. Consequently, the mobility sector of the Bavarian economy alone generates 32.24% of industrial turnover in the Free State of Bavaria: a real boon for an innovation location that is always in motion – because staying in motion is in our nature.