Eberspaecher plugs into Startup Autobahn innovation platform

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 06 Nov 2019


Autonomous driving is one facet of future mobility, for which Eberspäecher has products in store. With the partnership, the company is pushing ahead with its activities in many technology fields.

The Eberspäecher Group, one of the world´s leading system developers and suppliers of exhaust technology, vehicle heaters and bus air-conditioning systems, has partnered Plug & Play’s Startup Autobahn. Startup Autobahn is an innovation platform that connects startups of all development stages with industry-leading corporate partners to pilot their technology and drive the ultimate goal — a successful production-ready implementation.

As an innovative company, Eberspaecher says it is playing an active role in manufacturing automotive components that conserve resources and the environment while also keeping driving comfort and safety in focus. Together with Startup Autobahn, the Esslingen-based automotive supplier is systematically expanding its future fields and looking for innovative, young technology companies.

The cooperation between Eberspaecher and Startup Autobahn started on 1 November 2019. “We are committed to a strong long-term partnership to find innovative solutions and creative startups on the market,” emphasises Edgar Müller, vice-president of Next Shed by Eberspaecher. Next Shed bundles the activities of the Esslingen-based automotive supplier into defined fields of the future and systematically searches the market for new technologies.

For Müller, the sound experience of the innovation platform founded by Daimler, the Plug and Play Tech Center, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036 in May 2016 was very important as the basis for this partnership. It creates an optimal interface between industry-leading companies and young technology companies. “We aren’t a typical startup accelerator, but rather offer a complete ecosystem for successful cooperation,” says Sascha Karimpour, managing director at Plug & Play Germany, which is operationally supporting Startup Autobahn.

The common goal of the partner companies is to find marketable, production-ready solutions to shape the mobility of tomorrow while fulfilling, today, the future requirements of end customers and legislators.

Open to innovation, reinvention
As a traditional company with a company history spanning 150 years, Eberspaecher has always been open to new technology, new markets, and new challenges. “Our company history shows how we have very successfully reinvented ourselves time and again over the years,” points out Heinrich Baumann, Managing Partner of the Eberspaecher Group and initiator of Next Shed. The work fields extend beyond the automotive supplier’s core areas of heating and cooling. They are on the lookout for partners for innovative mobility solutions and mobile energy storage systems. Intelligent acoustic systems and approaches to improving air quality belong to their field of activities, in addition to autonomous systems.

Professional working environment for joint projects
Eberspaecher will specifically identify suitable startups through the existing Startup Autobahn network. At the Esslingen headquarters, a team of creative minds named Next Shed advises internal and external venture teams and offers the necessary industrial infrastructure, networks and expertise to the contacts established through Startup Autobahn. The family-owned company says it is actively open to creative solutions. The opportunities for cooperation with the young technology companies can range from pilot projects and co-development through to investments.