Almost exactly one month before the federal election, Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer gave the go-ahead for the establishment first of the office and then of the German Centre for Future Mobility (DZM) he is planning in Munich. The kick-off event for this took place on 23 August 2021 in the presence of the Bavarian Minister President Dr Markus Söder and Dieter Reiter, the Lord Mayor of the City of Munich.
According to the BMVI, the DZM is to become “an internationally outstanding centre of mobility research” where “the mobility of tomorrow will be rethought and developed”. The content will focus on hydrogen technologies, synthetic fuels, innovative logistics concepts and digital, platform-based mobility concepts. It is also about expanding the production of both electricity-based fuels and advanced biofuels in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) said: “We bundle expertise and promote the exchange between science and industry – application-oriented, future-oriented, user-oriented, internationally at the highest level and visible worldwide.” A total of 400 million euros will be invested and around 200 scientists are to be employed.
In addition, other locations are to be involved in various topics and supported with 4.55 million euros. In June 2021, it was announced that the Hamburg Wireless Innovation Competence Center (HAWICC – Funding: 0.25 million euros), the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus research campus (SRCC – funding: 2.3 million) in Annaberg-Buchholz, Saxony, and the Rail Campus OWL (funding: 2.0 million) in Minden, North Rhine-Westphalia, were selected as satellite centres. Another DZM branch is to be located in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. The planned Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Centre, for which Chemnitz, Duisburg and Pfeffenhausen, Bavaria, are currently bidding in the site allocation procedure, will also be part of the network. The “Behörden-Spiegel” quotes the Federal Government as saying that “due to a lack of knowledge of the locations, the BMVI was unable to carry out a prior examination of the economic efficiency of the project”.
In response to a question from the opposition in the parliament as to whether there had been a call for tenders before Munich was chosen as the seat of DZM, the Federal Government replied: “There is no process relevant under procurement law in the determination of the location or an obligation to conduct a competitive procedure. […] The immediate proximity to the digital test field along the A9 as well as to the International Motor Show were factors in favour of the Munich Metropolitan Region as the location for the headquarters of the German Centre Mobility of the Future.”