Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 70

I S S U E S I X
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We struggle with the settings of some programmes, but believe we have
made good progress within ITEA and ARTEMIS. For ECSEL, we have had
some challenges, and it has not been easy to get software projects
launched within this JTI.
We have seen a shift in funding budgets from a software-driven to a more
hardware-driven and semiconductor processes view, and whilst that is
partially okay, the shift is so intense that there is a feeling that there is
some movement in the wrong direction. Such collaborative projects are
not an enabler for software technologies at the moment, but the hope is
that this problem can be overcome – otherwise activities will decrease.
That is true not just for Daimler, but also for other original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) in Europe that are looking for this issue to
be resolved.
To what extent should industry take the lead in more
initiatives, or should this be a role for the EU?
EU initiatives are a platform to enable broad industrial projects. By
bringing together partners in the automotive and software industries,
there is a broad range of project partners in collaboration. It is important
to have a platform to realise these aims and enable these projects.
Further, it is important to involve between 20 and 40 partners and
correspond with all of them. It is also important to take a snapshot of the
work that has happened over recent years, and whilst new groups come
together and develop new proposals, it is tough to arrange these projects.
Another significant aspect is to develop a European setting for future
projects and have a good co-operation with partners between different
countries and between different sectors; variety is crucial to Daimler.
How important do you see Horizon 2020 and other
EU-led initiatives in encouraging innovation?
Horizon 2020 is particularly important. This is a platform with dedicated
money for certain project areas from which benefits can be derived. We
strong relationship with other German and
European companies. In this arena, we
correspond with competitors and encourage
engagement in these projects.
What efforts would you like to
see coming from the EU to
improve the uptake of electric
vehicles and e-mobility?
An important enabler is to push European
standards for e-mobility, particularly in terms of
electric charging and regulations; it is important
to have good conditions for both companies
and customers, as well as having incentives in
the early phases of development.
Currently, we really need incentives to
overcome the first hesitations of the customers
and the higher prices before electric vehicles
can enter the mass market. When you have
higher numbers of a vehicle, then prices will
drop, and we need to overcome that threshold.
In Europe, there are different approaches in
different countries. In Norway, for example,
there is no tax on purchasing an electric vehicle,
and consequently there is great encouragement
for people to buy these automobiles. There are
similar benefits in the UK.
This is an interesting approach and you can see
the immediate reaction of the market.
Customers are keen to buy these cars when
the price is attractive. We need to further
develop this assistance in terms of
governmental help, for example through taxes
and subsidies, to ensure the prices of vehicles
are appropriate.
How can the benefits of
co-operation be balanced with
ensuring fair competition?
Daimler often takes part in collaborative
projects during the precompetitive stage to
establish and develop basic settings and
technologies in order to get faster results from
research and innovation. It is important to have
co-operation in the early phase of development.
Once you move to a competitive view, namely
the detailed features of a vehicle, then every
company has to deal with its own problems.
To have a platform to support these types of
projects and develop a tool settings process will
be of particular benefit, as Daimler’s main
interests and focus are as a carmaker. If we are
able to collaborate and develop tools that fit our
processes, this is beneficial.
Schneider told Portal
that Daimler often
participates in
collaborative,
precompetitive
research projects
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