Conti looks to the future with Trend Antenna in Frankfurt
Hessian State Secretary Mathias Samson, opened Continental AG’s research workshop in the House of Logistics and Mobility (HOLM) in Frankfurt am Main on 2 February. The so-called “Trend Antenna” event sees students and academics work with Continental for the purpose of developing the future of mobility and research software technologies and algorithms. The event is the fourth institution of its kind at Continental, after Regensburg, Shanghai and Guadalajara (Mexico). A total of around 170 students from around 10 different disciplines work with Continental at the Trend Antennas.
“The digital transformation is both an opportunity and a challenge – for the automotive industry as well. Automation, connectivity and alternative drive trains: the areas of research in the automotive industry have become more diverse. They offer a very exciting field of activity and show us once again that we need diverse employees with creative ideas, unconventional approaches, commitment and boldness. For this reason, we are delighted to be using the Trend Antenna in Frankfurt am Main to create a place where we can network with universities and students. We want to exchange knowledge with them and create new things. And we want to inspire them with tasks such as making road accidents a thing of the past,” explained Continental’s Executive Board member for Human Resources, Dr. Ariane Reinhart.
Ralf Lenninger, head of Strategy, System Development and Innovation in Continental’s Interior division, summarizes the main tasks of the Trend Antennas as follows: “At the Trend Antennas, young people work with us – deliberately away from the day-to-day work of an automotive supplier – to research topics for the future of mobility. It is about discovering trends and implementing them in project and product ideas for the automotive industry with a passion for trying things out. This enables us to take on new perspectives, while the students gain valuable experience in the exciting world of automotive engineering.”
Each of Continental’s Trend Antennas has a different focus in its work. For example, in Regensburg it is apps that are designed and developed, while in Guadalajara it is prototypes. By contrast, the focus in Shanghai is on trends from Chinese society. “In Frankfurt, we are concentrating in particular on the growing importance of software technologies for automotive engineering, because we will be working with the students at the Trend Antenna in the HOLM to develop ideas for algorithms and software technologies. The Frankfurt region with its surrounding universities and higher education institutions and the HOLM offer ideal conditions for this,” says Lenninger.
With a current total of 44 representative offices from universities and companies (24 from companies and 20 from universities), the HOLM – a neutral platform for interdisciplinary, cross-sector cooperation in the field of logistics and mobility – offers not only office space, but also unique networking opportunities. The innovative building offers function rooms of various sizes, offices, co-working spaces and rooms for lectures and for training courses.