Industry: Automotive
  Cooperation Start: 2013
  Cooperation Focus: Automotive technology & mobility, CAE, connectivity, driver assistance, vehicle concepts, electronics, energy and sustainability, new propulsion systems
  Cooperation Priority: R&D


Ford RWTH Aachen University Alliance

The Ford University Alliance is a well-established model in the U.S. In 2013, RWTH became the first and only European university to be named a "Strategic Alliance Partner" alongside the U.S. universities Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan and Stanford University.

Read more about the Alliance here.

The Alliance is a global research program. Once a year, all RWTH institutes are invited to submit their research ideas, which are then evaluated by a Ford jury. The most promising projects receive bilateral funding. These research projects, typically running for two years, primarily address complex topics with long-term relevance to applications in the automotive industry. In this way, basic research and interdisciplinary projects are initiated as well.

The Alliance model ensures a higher level of planning security for all participants, greater transparency and a simplified administrative implementation due to the predefined framework agreements. RWTH Innovation is responsible for the key account management of the cooperation between Ford and RWTH.

After the projects have ended, the research results generated in the Alliance are applied in various ways: For instance, the findings are integrated into the production at Ford or start-ups are founded on the basis of newly developed technologies. In addition, research results obtained in Alliance projects may also form the starting point for further, publicly funded projects, in which solutions for complex social challenges are then developed together with other project partners.


Brain research in the automotive sector
Objective: Faster and more accurate detection of declining concentration in drivers
Duration: 2019-2021
Project Partners: Ford, UKA
External Links: Hirnforschung von Ford könnte nachlassende Konzentration von Autofahrenden schneller identifizieren


Examples of public projects based on the Ford RWTH Alliance

PEAk-Bat – Effort reduction for future battery systems
Objective: Increase in both the mass-related and the spatial energy density of batteries via "cell-to-pack" approach, reduction of complexity and number of components of future battery systems, and efficiency increases of up to 20 % 
Duration: 2022-2025
Public Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Project Partners: Ford, RWTH (PEM), ACTS Advanced Car Technology Systems GmbH & Co. KG, SCIO Technology GmbH, TÜV Rheinland Automotive Component Testing GmbH, Farasis Energy Europe GmbH, TRUMPF SE + Co. KG
External Links: PEAk-Bat
HaPiPro2 – Producing e-motor components with hairpin technology
Objective: Development of different manufacturing variants of electric motor components along one production line using hairpin technology
Duration: 2020-2023
Public Funding: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE)
Project Partners: Ford, RWTH (DAP, PEM), thyssenkrupp Systems Engineering, ENGIRO, AMS Anlagenbau, Berg & Co.
External Links: Forschungsprojekt zur Entwicklung neuer und nachhaltiger E-Motor-Fertigungsprozesse am Kölner Ford-Standort
ACCorD – Corridor for new mobility Aachen - Düsseldorf
Objective: Establishment of an integrated development and test environment for automated vehicles in interaction with network infrastructure
Duration: 2020-2022
Public Funding: Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV)
Project Partners: Ford, RWTH (ika, ISAC), MOOVE, PTV, Vodafone, ZF Friedrichshafen, Landesbetrieb Straßenbau NRW, Stadt Aachen
External Links:


ACCorD project: Corridor for new mobility

Research Projects - Automated Driving ACCorD




Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge – RWTH talents demonstrate social responsibility

The Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge is a support initiative designed to empower students at universities to initiate change through innovative and creative projects that help address social challenges. As part of the 2019 Challenge, RWTH students were called upon to come up with original project concepts and prototype proposals on the topic of "Sustainable Urban Solutions for Future Cities." For this purpose, in collaboration with the city of Aachen, three locations with sub-optimal traffic situations were identified. The best concept was awarded a prize and put into practice by the winning team. More

Workshop Engineering & Design 4.0 – RWTH expertise meets industry know-how

In an exploratory workshop, experts from Ford, Siemens and RWTH Aachen University discussed the challenges and opportunities for engineering in light of current technological and social developments. In conclusion, the results were identified as future requirements for the education of the corresponding professional groups. More

Miroslava Saager
Miroslava Saager M. Sc.
Business Relations Manager

Entrepreneurial Manager

+49 241 80 92806