How Mobility Leader Magna Builds Strong Ties With Europe’s Startups

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“Our goal is to ensure a good, competitive future for the mobility sector, fostering the technologies startups are actively working on,” said Ian Simmons, VP Business Development and R&D at Magna.

Promoting Innovation In The Mobility & Automotive Sector

Innovation can come from anywhere, which is why Magna continuously partners with universities, tech accelerators, and startups. It’s why the company constantly examines the market for new ideas and opportunities. In the last 18 months alone, Magna has scanned over 1.100 startups, further investigated 291 and engaged with 101 of them.

In June 2017, Magna launched a program in collaboration with the tech accelerator RocketSpace to bring together startups and the most promising technologies in their sector. The mobility leader provides mentoring to startups and focuses on the growth of tech startups, aiming for a collaboration. “Our open for business mentality helps us stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and potentially validate them for automotive applications,” said Ian Simmons. “We see great opportunity to form mutually beneficial relationships when inventors, investors, and corporations bring their ideas and resources together.”

Just this year, in January, Magna unveiled the high-definition ICON RADAR which scans the environment in four dimensions and was developed in partnership with the tech startup Uhnder, currently in stealth mode. The technology, which helps close the gap between level 3 and level 5 to reach full reliable autonomous driving, will be brought to the market in 2019 thanks to the collaboration of the corporate and the startup in engineering and product development.

Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration As The Key To Innovation

One cornerstone of Magna’s innovative success is the steady effort to acquire knowledge from various disciplines. One such example is the multi-disciplinary Technology Advisory Council the company has created to identify key trends in the industry. The council features automotive executives, the inventor of the iPod, experts in emerging markets, global leaders in machine learning and more. So far, Magna has auto-qualified:

  • Medical technology like biometric and heart rate sensors to create products that monitor driver health and alertness.
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum for use in body panels.
  • Military-grade radar for the ICON Radar system as mentioned above.

While Magna has more than 168,000 entrepreneurial-minded employees dedicated to delivering mobility solutions, the collaboration with cutting-edge startups is a cornerstone of its innovation agenda. European startups are of particular interest to Magna as the continent’s mobility and the automotive landscape is currently bubbling with new technology.

To advance the scope and depth of the company’s startup engagement in Europe, Magna has partnered with StartUs Insights, Europe’s leading startup & innovation network, to launch the Startup Program “Leading Mobility”. Startups that want to actively shape the future of the transportation industry together with Magna are encouraged to reach out on the program’s website.

“Magna’s commitment and ongoing work in this crucial and growing sector deeply impact the European mobility scene. Their acknowledgment of startups at the forefront of digitalization and creative disruption is a sign that these companies are the future of the industry and a viable partner to learn from,” said David R. Prasser, CEO StartUs Insights.



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