Bavarian innovations made their mark on the automotive sector as early as 1893, when Rudolph Diesel invented his diesel engine in Augsburg. Today, alongside the further development of the classic combustion engine at the highest technical level, it is topics such as electromobility and lightweight design where Bavaria shows its greatest innovative power. Active members of Bavaria's automotive sector include world-renowned premium manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and MAN (commercial vehicles), as well as over 1,100 companies including well-known suppliers such as Bosch Rexroth AG, Brose, Continental, Dräxlmaier Group, Schaeffler, Webasto and ZF Sachs. All significant international automotive suppliers have branches in Bavaria, providing the ideal conditions for automotive production here.
In Bavaria, networks such as BAIKA for international automotive suppliers and the Automotive cluster organise the hugely important networking of various actors who will help to shape the sector's future. Here in Bavaria, excellent materials research meets innovative design and the production of high-performance on-board electronics: all the components for modern automotive production. Efficient driving dynamics, vehicle safety and comfort, and efficiency and flexibility in production are some of the topics dealt with by the Automotive cluster. The expertise generated here benefits the companies in the sector both in Bavaria and worldwide.
Eleven universities and 17 universities of applied sciences in Bavaria provide the perfect basis for excellent university-based research and education, including in the automotive sector. Many universities teach and generate automotive-specific expertise, for example Automotive Computer Science at the University of Applied Sciences Landshut, Automotive Technology and Management at Coburg University and Vehicle Technology and Mechatronics at Munich University of Applied Sciences. This ensures well-trained automotive experts and top-level research.
But it is not only Bavaria's universities which act as a talent pool and source of innovation for the automotive sector. The state's dual education system ensures that the next generation receives excellent training, providing sustainable support for the automotive industry in areas such as production and automotive trading. The research undertaken by the universities is complemented by the work of institutions such as multiple Fraunhofer Institutes, the iwb Anwenderzentrum Augsburg and the Neue Materialien Nordbayern competence centre. Material innovations, electromobility, vehicle electronics: the future of the car is being developed in many different areas. All of them are at home in Bavaria.
Multiple networks in Bavaria bring the key actors in the automotive sector together. One of these is the Bavaria-wide Automotive cluster, whose aims include increasing transparency in the existing competences in business and science with relevance for the automotive industry, increasing value creation, a cross-sector exchange of information and experience, and interdisciplinary networking. The cluster is supported by a committee of experts from business and science.
Alongside the Automotive cluster, the internationally-orientated Bavarian Innovation and Cooperation Initiative for the Automotive Suppliers Industry (BAIKA) is also active and now includes around 2,200 companies and institutes from over 50 countries. There are many useful synergies between the Automotive cluster and the BAIKA network. Specific networks such as the M•A•I Carbon cluster complement the networks already mentioned. The cluster makes a significant contribution to the establishment of the Munich-Augsburg-Ingolstadt region as a European centre for fibre-reinforced plastics. All these networks combine to make Bavaria a top location for the automotive industry.