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Bavarian Minister of Economics visits Automobiltechnikum in Hof / Fraunhofer Application Centre Hof notified of €2.5 million grant

Oberkotzau, 03/2016, Claudia Gronwald, PR and Marketing, Bav. Ministry of Economics:

DSC 0058 cg klBavarian Minister of Economics Ilse Aigner visited Automobiltechnikum Bayern GmbH in Hof, Bavaria’s centre for innovation in the automotive industry, to learn more about the testing facility for automotive suppliers and its development.
Accompanied by representatives from politics and business, she watched a demonstration of the ‘glove box’ test bench performed by Managing Director Gerd Laubmann and his colleagues, and also gained insight into the collaboration between GEALAN and ATB.

Text:  Bav. Ministry of Economics:
Aigner: “The ATB offers a major location advantage for the Upper Franconian region.”
Aigner: “Since opening in 2005, the ATB has become a hotspot for automotive suppliers. We awarded the ATB a ten-million euro grant. Now the centre can hold its own and is a key point of contact for the automotive industry.”

The ATB is an independent testing facility with 900 sqm of office space and 2,500 sqm of hall space. It offers companies that are primarily active in the regional automotive supplier industry the opportunity to use investment-intensive test benches, devices and machines and to perform tests. The ATB tests components, systems and vehicles for their safety and engineering strength and performs environmental simulations. The testing centre currently has six employees.

Aigner continues: “Supporting the ATB has helped us achieve our structural policy objectives. Businesses can take advantage of the infrastructure offered here without having to procure their own expensive testing equipment. The ATB offers a major location advantage for the Upper Franconian region.”

The centre started out with only a handful of customers in 2005. Now around 30 regional and international companies test their components, prototype parts and finished products at the ATB. These include well-known names such as Grammer, Conti, Scherdel, Rehau, Gealan, Brose, Magna, Johnson Controls and other global players. The latest figures underscore the testing facility’s positive development. The ATB was out of the red by 2011. Since then, profits have risen steadily.

In conjunction with her visit to the ATB, Aigner also prsented a €2.5 million grant to the Fraunhofer Application Centre in Hof. Aigner: “We are investing €2.5 million in the Fraunhofer Application Centre in Hof as part of our Northern Bavaria Initiative. This will help us strengthen research and development expertise throughout the region. SMEs have the most to gain from local access to qualified research and personnel.”

The Application Centre in Hof should focus collaboration between the Hof University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Centre for High Temperature Materials and Design (HTL) on the topic of ‘new materials’, a highly promising cross-sector technology. The Application Centre uses the equipment and expertise at the Hof University of Applied Sciences in the field of textile fibre processing and treatment as well as fibre testing. It transfers processing techniques such as weaving, braiding, knitting and fleece production to ceramic fibres. A point of contact for Upper Franconian and interregional companies involved in material manufacturing and application will be established for textile-related questions regarding inorganic fibres.


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