BMW Group and Alibaba Group inked a strategic agreement on July 3 for the launch of a joint innovation base, which is deemed as an important measure for BMW’s digital transition in China.
The innovation hub is set to be located at Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone of Shanghai. Spurred by China’s innovation-driven development policy, both parties will form an efficient strategic alliance that focuses on building an “Internet + Auto” innovation ecosystem.
The innovation base shall provide within three years not fewer than 300 firms with the technologies related to cloud computing, digitalization and next-generation vehicles, the technical resources and services in concert with BMW’s supply chain system, and relevant training and consultation services, according to two companies’ planning.
Under the program, a 5,000-square-meter working area will be opened to attract at least 30 technical projects during three years.
By holding innovation summits and technology competitions, the innovation base is scheduled to gather, serve and affect not fewer than 7,200 innovative and entrepreneurial talents with at least 200 companies benefitted within three years after the operation formally kicks off.
Furthermore, the base will team up with financing service institutions like venture capital funds and banks to afford at least 20 technology startups and projects with targeted financing supports in three years.
BMW Group has to-day set up three R&D centers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang respectively, making China its biggest R&D base outside Germany. Focusing on the complete vehicle quality testing and validation, the Beijing center is capable of hammering out localization strategy based on Chinese consumers’ demands. The Shanghai-based one highlights the research of future traveling trends, creative design, and digital applications, involving the R&D of autonomous driving and intelligent connectivity technologies and products. The Shenyang center, nearby BMW’s vehicle manufacturing plant, and power battery center, gives special importance to the development of electrified mobility services and the R&D of local production.