Alibaba Cloud and BMW Startup Garage China open Joint Innovation Base in Shanghai

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, and BMW Startup Garage China have opened the Joint Innovation Base (officially named “Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center - BMW Startup Garage Joint Innovation Base”) in Shanghai, China.

Located at the Shanghai Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, the Joint Innovation Base will harness the respective strengths and resources from both BMW and Alibaba to empower Chinese tech start-ups for scaling up their innovations. The focus of the start-ups in the Joint Innovation Base will be on innovative products, solutions and services bridging between internet, internet of things (IoT) and the automotive industry. 

Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said: “Having become a global innovation power house, China is providing an ever expanding playing field for start-up companies especially in science and technology. In this context, BMW Group is also scaling up its digital footprint in China as well as accelerating our transformation towards electrification. We will continue to deepen our collaboration with both established Chinese tech players as well as skilled new talents to foster their respective strength on innovation.”

“We are excited to partner with BMW and share our cloud and digital intelligence technologies through the Joint Innovation Base,” said Selina Yuan, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International Business Unit. “Alibaba Cloud has established 60 incubation centres in China over the past years. The collaboration with BMW is another testimony to our commitment to supporting startups by leveraging our technologies, experience, expertise and global resources.” 

In three years the Joint Innovation Base will provide no less than 300 companies with advanced cloud computing infrastructure from Alibaba, access to BMW experts and BMW business units via the BMW Startup Garage. The BMW Startup Garage aims to scout high-potential startups to match their innovative solutions with the BMW Group’s needs. It is positioned as the gateway for startups to the auto industry linking the BMW Group with cutting-edge outside-in technologies. More than 20 start-ups covering strategic innovation fields such as digitisation, electrification and sustainability have already set up their office in the joint incubator.

In addition to promoting open innovation in China, BMW also teamed up with Alibaba to accelerate digital transformation. In October 2020, the duo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to carry out comprehensive cooperation in branding, marketing, channels, end-to-end operations, services, information technology etc, aiming to implement the digitalisation strategy into BMW China’s full business process, and enable dealers to provide an end-to-end online-to-offline digital experience for customers.

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