TUM Consortium “M Cube” successful in the first round of the BMBF Future Cluster Initiative

What does the future of mobility in metropolitan regions look like? In the M Cube innovation cluster, the TUM wants to research and sustainably shape mobility access together with players from science, business, and society.

The TUM research consortium “M Cube: Munich Cluster for the Future of Mobility in Metropolitan Regions” is one of two Bavarian consortia that have mastered the first round of the BMBF-funded future cluster initiative. Under the leadership of the TUM professors Markus Lienkamp (automotive engineering), Sebastian Pfotenhauer (innovation research) and Gebhard Wulfhorst (settlement structure and transport planning) and with broad support from professors, local industry and the public sector, the foundation stone is laid for a new phase of interdisciplinary, socially-oriented mobility research at TUM. “Mobility is a key topic for Munich and Germany, but also globally – this is where challenges to urban development and innovative strength meet issues of sustainability and social justice,” says Prof. Sebastian Pfotenhauer (MCTS / TUM School of Management). “For TUM, the Future Cluster Initiative is an opportunity to bundle its multifaceted research on mobility topics and to focus it specifically on questions of social responsibility.

M Cube represents an interdisciplinary research approach that bundles competencies along three main areas: Autonomous, shared, and electric driving; networking of multimodal mobility; integrated transport development at the neighborhood and regional level. The initiative pursues strategic goals with a view to economic, social, and ecological sustainability. The research in M Cube is, therefore, carried out in close cooperation between different disciplines and practical experts from companies and society. It enables model and scalable solutions that are co-creatively developed and tested in real laboratories. The aim is to address concrete social challenges (Fig. 1). The project takes up the breadth of mobility research at the TUM and works closely with strong project partners from the region, such as BMW, MAN, Deutsche Bahn, MVG/Stadtwerke München, the City of Munich and the Bavarian State Ministry of Housing, Construction and Transport.

TUM is one of 16 positively evaluated institutions for the first round of the BMBF’s Future Cluster Initiative (Fig. 2), which were selected from a total of 137 competition sketches submitted. The M Cube consortium is now invited to submit a full proposal by October. The Future Cluster Initiative aims to link regional partners in innovation networks based on excellent results from basic research. The BMBF will initially support successful clusters with 250,000 euros for the conception phase and then with up to 45 million euros over nine years in the implementation of the cluster initiative.

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