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FCA and Politecnico di Torino Renew Partnership Agreement

6 December 2018

The memorandum of understanding, signed today in Turin by FCA Chairman John Elkann and Politecnico Rector Guido Saracco, represents the fourth edition of the partnership initiated in 1999 and extended in 2010 and again in 2014.

The principal focus of the 4-year agreement is the degree program in Automotive Engineering and research activities of common interest, with FCA committing a total of €7.4 million, or €1.85 million a year, in the form of funding and other assets and services. In addition to new technological challenges in the automotive sector, such as electric mobility, connected and automated driving, and ecological and digital manufacturing, the academic, research and innovation targets also focus on potential international academic initiatives. 

The significant results achieved under the 2014-2018 agreement provide a solid base for further development. The number of graduates from the Automotive Engineering programs (Laurea and Laurea Magistrale) has doubled over the past four years from a total of 621 for the 2010-2014 period to 1275 for the 2014-2018 period. The program continues to be very international with around 30% of graduates coming from outside Italy. A total of more than 4,600 students have graduated from the Automotive Engineering degree program since it was launched in 1999.

The program has also produced excellent results in terms of employment, with approximately 96% of new graduates employed within one year after completing the Laurea Magistrale program. FCA personnel provided 30% of the teaching and collaborated on several joint research programs, in addition to being involved in workshops and voluntary training programs in technological and organizational areas of current relevance to the industry. 

Over the past four years, the partnership also helped facilitate five other agreements between Politecnico and other leading universities in the United States and Canada, including the University of Windsor with which it offers an International Dual Master's Degree in Automotive Engineering. As part of this program, 26 students from Politecnico transferred to Windsor and 11 students from Windsor transferred to Turin over the past four years. On November 29th, a new agreement was signed between Politecnico and Oakland University in Michigan to establish a second international degree program for qualifying students. Under the previous agreement, 11 students had the opportunity to complete their degree in Michigan.

Over the past four years, the agreement also led to the development of 57 research projects in: “electrified propulsion, and connected and automated driving”, “additive manufacturing”, “new materials for lightening and recycling” and “Industry 4.0”.

FCA Chairman John Elkann commented: “The renewal of this agreement confirms the commitment we made nearly 20 years ago to strengthen ties between the academic world and the automotive sector. We continue to believe in the level of excellence of the Politecnico di Torino in making the automobiles of today more efficient and functional and together with us working to envision the mobility of the future. This partnership, which sees the number of international universities increase from this year, will be fundamental in facing this challenge by developing the know-how and the culture of innovation necessary to continue to compete in the global markets of the future”.

The Rector of the Politecnico di Torino, Guido Saracco, commented: “The automotive sector has undergone a profound change with an increasing requirement for multi-disciplinary know-how. Renewal of the agreement with FCA continues a long-standing relationship that led to the creation of one of the first programs in Automotive Engineering in Europe, and probably the world, resulting from a colloboration between industry and academia. Over the next four years we will focus on advanced, interdisciplinary research, expanding the international reach and network to create the necessary research and academic programs to respond to the global challenges of the future”.