Augsburg. The leading-edge cluster MAI Carbon and the Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV) division of the same name extended an invitation to the annual strategy workshop at Technologiezentrum Augsburg (TZA). Important points on the agenda were the keynote speech by Claudia Martina Buhl from VDI/VDE IT, which included analyses on research funding in the carbon composites field, a presentation on the funding opportunities provided by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) and the introduction of the research institutes involved with the cluster. They were followed by the general meeting and the biennial election of the board members. The day's programme was completed by an update on the "Carbon Connected" platform, a result of the MAI 2.0 project. The event finished with a summer barbeque party that provided the participants with further opportunities to network.
The so-called "strategy workshop" was dedicated entirely to the members. To start with, Claudia Martina Buhl from VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik (go-Cluster) explained in detail how the funding for research and development in the area of carbon composites in Germany has been allocated in the past few years. Bavaria managed to gain the highest funding increases, which was not least due to the efforts of the leading-edge cluster MAI Carbon. The workshop continued with a presentation of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations and specifically of opportunities related to collective industrial research (IGF), with the goal of launching projects under this funding programme as well. Members that are small and medium-sized enterprises were also taken into account to a promising extent. They had the opportunity of talking to the research institutes that had introduced themselves beforehand with "pitches" in exploratory discussion rounds.
After the cluster report on the past twelve months presented by Dr Tjark von Reden and an outlook over the rest of the year, those participants who were entitled to vote were able to influence the future strategy directly by electing the board members. The day was therefore not only dedicated to the division's annual general meeting but also to the biennial election of the board members. Whilst the votes were being counted, Dr Tjark von Reden and Mathias Wendt from inno-focus businessconsulting reported on the cluster platform Carbon Connected, which was created within the scope of the leading-edge cluster funding programme as a MAI 2.0 project.
Seven candidates had put their names forward for the five positions on the board. The chairman of the board is still Professor Klaus Drechsler (TUM/LCC). The other members elected to the board are Günther Deinzer (Audi), Dr Lars Herbeck (Voith Composites), Professor Siegfried Horn (Uni Augsburg) and Ralph Hufschmied (Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme). Final words by the head of the division, Dr Tjark von Reden: "I am looking forward to the next two years of collaboration with the board members. We know and respect each other and have already been able to initiate much. We will now continue to pursue this path together in future." As networking is an important element for the members, the summer barbeque party after the meeting, a perfect occasion for talking to each other in a relaxed atmosphere, was extremely well attended. "A thoroughly successful day," as one of the members put it.
The MAI Carbon board members immediately after their election.