What an exciting day! The 23rd Stuttgart International Symposium kicked in the morning with the Welcome Session from the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart, moderated by Dr.-Ing. Lea Schwarz, Head of Development Functions/Features Driving and Energy, AUDI AG. Prof. André Casal Kulzer, Prof. Hans-Christian Reuss and Prof. Andreas Wagner, all Chairs of the Institute of Automotive Engineering (IFS) at the University of Stuttgart and members of the Board at FKFS welcomed the participants in a relaxed round of talks. The audience gained insights into the current trends in the automotive industry, which the two-day symposium will address. Prof. Wagner also pointed out the many new program items the symposium has to offer this year, including field trips to partner companies, poster sessions, a guided tour of the exhibition, a hands-on workshop, and business speed dating.
This was followed by a digital greeting by Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economics, Labor and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg, whose schedule unfortunately did not allow her to deliver the address in person. She pointed out the current challenges facing companies in the context of the changing mobility and structural challenges such as the shortage of skilled workers and digitization. According to her, this makes innovative approaches and venues like this symposium all the more important for exchanging and discussing these challenges and corresponding approaches to solutions.
After the welcome address, the symposium started with the first plenary speech held by Dr. Stefan Wolf, President of the Federation of German Employers' Associations in the Metal and Electrical Engineering Industries (M+E). In his keynote address, Dr. Wolf spoke on the topic of "The automotive Industry in Transition - Opportunities and Challenges for Companies and Employees" addressing the structural change in the automotive industry, to which numerous other challenges have been added in recent years, such as the Covid pandemic, the shortage of raw materials and professionals as well as the rise in energy costs. He also made clear appeals to politics to provide greater support for the automotive industry, especially for small and medium-sized companies in order to maintain Germany's competitive position.
The conference program then continued. In five parallel sessions, participants were able to listen to various technical presentations and join in the discussions. For the first time in the history of the Stuttgart International Symposium, one third of the manuscripts underlying the presentations had been peer-reviewed by SAE. Participants who had registered for Business Speed Dating were able to make targeted new contacts within a so-called warp conference.
In addition, there were two further highlights in the afternoon with the poster sessions on the topics "Powertrain Systems" and "New Technologies" as well as a workshop on the topic "Introduction to methods of foresight and creation of scenarios using the scenario technique", sponsored by the Transformation Network Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb (CARS 2.0).
After these many highlights, the day will be rounded off with a networking evening at Sky Beach above the rooftops of Stuttgart.
We are now looking forward to more exciting impressions on the second day of the event!