ZKW is working with Oberbank AG to invite international start-ups to submit their ideas and win a place in the “Drive Light & Sight” accelerator program. In addition, innovative companies can participate in roadshows and present their solutions to ZKW customers. “We are convinced that collaborating with start-ups strengthens ZKW’s culture of innovation and improves our agility, allowing us to implement new trend-setting solutions in the automotive industry together. Only companies that continuously improve their performance and view the future with curiosity can continue to deliver top products” says Ralf Klädtke, Vice Chairman and CTO of the ZKW Group.
Looking for Innovations on Focal Topics
Start-ups can submit their application in three focus areas. Focus area 1 is entitled “All Things Light” and here ZKW is looking for ideas related to styling & design, personalization and lighting presentation in vehicles. This includes mobile solutions for the vehicle front, rear, and interior as well as static concepts for light infrastructure. The second focus area, “All Things Sight,” covers the symbiosis of light and sight, which ranges from sensor applications to illuminated informational displays for drivers to augmented reality solutions. Focus area 3 is entitled “Your Vision” and here ZKW is looking for the best lighting designs in the age of autonomous driving. Applicants can submit their visions for future automotive and mobility lighting systems, as well as solutions for light communication, such as cars used as an advertising surface and display.
Awards for Best Ideas
After all applications have been received, the ZKW expert team will select the best ideas and invite nominated teams to a pitch event at the end of September 2018. There, start-ups will be able to present their ideas to an expert jury and discuss the relevant details with ZKW specialists in workshops. The winners of the pitch event will then have four months to work on the implementation of their designs. Start-ups will work closely with ZKW experts at this time.
Driving Research and Development Forward
For the ZKW Group, continuous innovation is key to consistent growth and high customer satisfaction. To strengthen its focus in this area, the company created an “Innovation Management” department in 2017, which both initiates and coordinates collaboration with external partners and serves as a mouthpiece for employees for their ideas and suggestions for improvement. “Our culture of innovation allows ZKW to be proactive in shaping the future and continue to secure our competitive advantage and corporate success” says Christian Bemmer, Group Director of Innovation Management.