The goal of each tour is to provide you with a first hand appreciation of the space, automotive and logistics sectors. We will accomplish this through a process of loosely guided dialogues. Ultimately, we will use observation and insights from the tour to built a ‘point of view’ of each sector and start to define key problems to solve.

Automotive – Ford Research and Innovation Center

The defining mission of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering (R&A) Europe is creating individual mobility solutions that go hand in hand with environmental and safety considerations. Most of the R&A team are located in the Ford Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Aachen, Germany which was founded in 1995 and is the only Ford Motor Company research location in the world outside the US.


Its workforce has grown to about 350 employees from over 28 nations around the globe. Environment and sustainability research is being done in areas as diverse as next generation diesel and gasoline engine development, alternative powertrains, hybridisation including advanced power supply and energy management as well as new materials and production processes.


Safety, comfort and health aspects are being addressed in the areas of vehicle dynamics, chassis technologies, advanced driver assistance systems, connected vehicles including car-to-x communication, smart mobility solutions, innovative lighting systems, as well as vehicle interior concepts.

Logistics – RheinCargo – Port Cologne Niehl

In the ports of the RhineCargo, 28 million tonnes were handled in 2016 and 1.3 million container units (TEUs) were moved. This makes RheinCargo one of the leading inland ports in Europe.
Port Cologne Niehl
With a water surface area of 472,700 m² and an area of 837,300 m² with four harbour basins, a total of 6,359,472 tonnes were transhipped in 2016. Of these, 413,942 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) were handled. At the terminals in the port of Niehl, trains are loaded and unloaded to the ARA ports (ARA = Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam) as well as for Germany and its neighbouring countries. In addition to containers, other goods such as fuel oil, fuels, hard coal and briquettes, general cargo, cellulose, paper, iron, scrap, grain, sugar, building materials, steel and other goods are also handled in Niehl.

Space – German Aerospace Center (DLR) & :envihab

Visit DLR's headquarters in Cologne, located next to Cologne-Bonn airport. Learn the broad range of DLR's research experiments involving the Institute of Space Systems, the Institute of Materials Research, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine and the Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC), which demonstrate close cooperation and expertise.


Visit DLR's one-of-a-kind, highly sophisticated medical research facility, :envihab, the Institute is taking a step forward in its ground-breaking research into the ways in which people adjust to extreme environments and other stressful situations. Next to :envihab is the European Astronaut Centre (EAC). Here EAC has established its medical expertise for astronauts including preventive medicine, evidence based medicine, nutrition and fitness. In addition, it promotes opportunities to industry for commercial experiments.

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