The most advanced technologies ready to enter into the road mobility market took centre stage on Thursday in Brussels at the ceremony for the seventh CLEPA Innovations Awards.
The event celebrates the achievements of the biggest private R&D investor in the EU, the automotive supply industry, which every year invests €30 billion in developing the solutions for the mobility of tomorrow.
The final eight winners were selected by an international jury of 28 experts from academia, industry stakeholders, and research & innovation centres who thoroughly reviewed a record 93 applications, assessing the innovations’ impact and readiness to enter highly competitive and cutting-edge markets in the two categories of Smart & Safe and Clean & Sustainable.
In general, the 2022 results reaffirm the need for new solutions driven by the rolling out of electromobility and autonomous driving, currently two key market trends for the whole automotive industry.
Smart & Safe mobility nominees
The winner of the category Smart & Safe was GMV with its GSharp, a highly accurate, safe Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for autonomous vehicles. In addition to being ready to use in autonomous vehicles, this innovation promises to be available at a competitive price in the market.
Plastic Omnium developed Smart Tailgate, a next-generation rear-closure solution that boasts cutting-edge functionalities as well as onboard intelligence, which was awarded the second prize. With four times fewer components than metal substitutes, it weighs up to 30% less, contains 20% recycled carbon fibres and produces a staggering 30% fewer emissions compared to metal rear.
The third prize went to Brigade for its CarEye® Safety Angle (CSA), a next-generation intelligent blind-spot assistant designed specifically for heavy-duty vehicles, buses and coaches. This technology combines a wing camera with pixel recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) placed at the side of the vehicle, that can reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists in an extended monitoring area alongside the vehicle.
NoTraffic received the SMEs mention in the category thanks to a traffic management platform for urban mobility that optimises traffic lights in real-time based on smart sensors. Placed at eye level at each road intersection and using computer vision and radar, the sensors classify all road users, including bicycles, scooters, pedestrians, cars, heavy trucks, and emergency vehicles.
Clean & Sustainable mobility nominees
Joyson Safety System won in the Clean & Sustainable category with a device that disconnects the flow of high voltage current from an electric vehicle battery to the surrounding electric vehicle systems in case of emergency. The pyrotechnic battery disconnection protects the vehicle occupants and the rescuers in the event of a fire outbreak.
Schaeffler, with the second prize, presented Enertect PC+, a thin, high-performance coating for the Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates, which significantly improves fuel cell performance for green hydrogen-powered transport.
Forvia received the third prize thanks to its innovative seating design that completely rethinks seats from frame to foam, covers and accessories. Seat for the Planet reduces the carbon footprint at every step, from seat architecture and sustainable materials to industrial processes and life-cycle management.
The winner in the SMEs category was NGV Powertrain, which has developed a technology that allows existing High Duty Vehicle (HDV) diesel based-engines to run with biofuels and e-fuels. Applications include off-grid fast-charging stations of electric vehicles enabling e-mobility everywhere.
Celebrating cutting-edge innovations in Brussels
The ceremony took place on Thursday, 13 October, at the Claridge Events Room in Brussels, where over 100 guests participated in the presentation of the Awards and the announcement of the winners. Organised by CLEPA, the European Automotive Suppliers Association, with the support of Deloitte, the CLEPA Innovation Awards are an exceptional testing ground for the entire ecosystem of automotive suppliers.
The competition is open to any company from the supply industry, and the assessment considers innovation elements such as ambition, market relevance, impact and quality, in determining their score. These criteria are assessed by the international jury of experts from industry, academia and European institutions to determine the finalists in each category, which this year were brought from four to two, to provide a better representation of the industry’s evolution.
CLEPA’s President Thorsten Muschal and CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger opened the celebration, addressing mobility experts and representatives from the selected companies.
“What we are celebrating tonight is not just the winners of a competition but the true spirit of our industry, which has always linked its success to the ability to take the results of the most advanced research and make them available to drivers on the road”, said CLEPA President, Thorsten Muschal.
“For our members, investing in innovation means investing in people: empowering new talents, funding programmes for young minds that bring new skills and ideas to the industry; investing in making new competencies more accessible for workers; and ultimately, increasing comfort, sustainability, and safety of the mobility experiences that citizens choose. In other words, automotive suppliers’ innovation comes from people and has true contributions to society as a whole”, noted CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger.
Deloitte Global Automotive Sector Leader Harald Proff, also added: “Transformation needs innovation – so much of the new normal still has to be fully developed. The thorough assessment of the innovation opportunities is paramount to supporting suppliers maximise their capabilities. Deloitte is fully engaged with the transformation of the automotive sector and joins forces with CLEPA to recognise the role that innovation has in delivering the technologies that can solve tomorrow’s challenges”.
CLEPA INNOVATION AWARDS 2022 – FINAL RESULTS
Smart & Safe
WINNER: GMV – GSharp
2nd PRIZE: Plastic Omnium – Smart Tailgate
3rd PRIZE: Brigade – Car Eye Safety Angle
SME WINNER: NoTraffic – Real-time, Plug-and-Play Autonomous Traffic Management Platform
Clean & Sustainable
WINNER: Joyson Safety System – Pyrotechnic Battery Disconnect for Electric & Hybrid Electric Vehicles
2nd PRIZE: Schaeffler – Enertect PC+ – Coating for Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates
3rd PRIZE: Forvia – Seat for the Planet
SME WINNER: NGV Powertrain – Carbon-Neutral HDV Engine