Canadian collaboration kicks off

Forschungstransfer Fraunhofer IAO und McMaster University in Hamilton
© Fraunhofer IAO

From left to right: Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister for Research and Innovation, Mo Elbestawi, McMaster University, Vice-President Research and Michael Bucher, Fraunhofer IAO

Fraunhofer IAO starts working together with McMaster University in Hamilton on research transfer

Fraunhofer IAO and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario are pooling their expertise in the field of technology and innovation management. In future, the partners will collaborate on both research and teaching in order to boost the transfer of research findings and innovative solutions into business practice.

Collaborations with commercial enterprises and research institutions around the world are very much a part of how Fraunhofer IAO operates. The recent signing of an agreement with Canada’s McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario allows Fraunhofer IAO to expand its cooperative approach on the international stage. Besides joint research and teaching of technology and innovation management topics, the aim of this collaboration is above all to transfer research findings into actual practice and translate them into a form that can be applied in industry.

One of the first target areas for the partners’ work will be the automotive sector. Like Germany’s Baden-Württemberg, the city of Hamilton – and the whole state of Ontario – is home to a major cluster of automakers and automotive suppliers. Whether in Germany or Canada, these companies face similar challenges, such as how to employ new materials and technologies, or how to deal with increasing cost pressures and growing international competition. “If they take an interdisciplinary approach to finding solutions, and if they apply consistent technology and innovation management, these companies can get an edge on the competition – and even expand into completely new areas of business,” says Fraunhofer IAO’s Stefan Waitzinger. Meanwhile, scientists at Fraunhofer IAO stand to benefit from the expertise they have built up over numerous projects with companies in and around Stuttgart.

The agreement of understanding was signed by Dr. Mo Elbastawi, Vice-President (Research & International Affairs) at McMaster University, and Michael Bucher, Head of the Technology Strategies Competence Team at Fraunhofer IAO, on May 23, 2013 during the Atlantik-Brücke German-Canadian Conference in Munich.

Detailed planning of the collaboration will begin on Friday, June 7, when the partners will meet in Burlington, Ontario, a city neighboring Hamilton, to discuss exactly how they will work together. The aim is also to set up a joint research center in the immediate vicinity of McMaster University.