Together with the Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, STEAG Energy Services India (SESI) has established an innovation lab at the Indian University in Kochi. Kochi is a port city with more than two million inhabitants in the state of Kerala in the extreme south-west of the country. The German Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner, inaugurated the STEAG Center for Smart City Technologies last Friday. He welcomed the project as a further example of the good Indo-German cooperation and thanked both, STEAG and the college, for this exemplary joined effort of industry and academia.
The objective of the lab is to provide the over 4,000 students and academics from the departments of engineering, business administration and social sciences with a place where they can develop their ideas in the fields of energy, mobility and recycling of materials to prototype status. To this end, the lab conducts innovation workshops and provides the opportunity to produce the prototypes with modern machines such as a 3D printer, a CNC milling machine and a laser cutting device on an area of 400 square meters. The project groups are supervised by two permanent employees in the laboratory and mentors from the fields of research, administration and industry.
Dr. Ralf Schiele, Chairman of the Management Board of SESI’s parent company STEAG Energy Services (SES), emphasizes: “We feel very strongly about the Corporate Social Responsibility measures in India, where we employ more than 1,500 people. This project stands out particularly because we initiated and designed it ourselves and then, after thorough preparation, implemented it together with the Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology. Although the university is the official sponsor of the STEAG Center for Smart City Technologies, we will continue to monitor and support the innovation lab very closely.” Ulrich Sigel, also a Director of SES, adds: “Through the innovation lab, we are creating further access to talented students. In addition, our commitment is naturally also linked to the hope that we will generate one or another new product for ourselves together with the inventors.”
The first workshop at the STEAG Center for Smart City Technologies has already taken place in September 2019. In the meantime, a large number of project groups have been formed in which the students carry out research and development activities together with their mentors and external partners such as the Fraunhofer Innovation Hub, government institutions and think tanks. Jan Hintzen, project engineer in the Energy Technologies division of SES, took part in the workshop as a mentor. As he reports, “The creativity and enthusiasm with which the students engaged in the workshop totally inspired me.”
SESI supports several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India. The projects are mostly related to the topic of energy – for example photovoltaic systems with batteries for a home for autistic people and for a school.