The Cooperation Protocol between UFRGS and STIHL Group, signed this March, promises to function as a major impulse to the interaction among the University and the industrial segment. The Company will bring demands from its production line and from the Technology Development Division to specific research groups from UFRGS, so that technology solutions may be reached. This interaction is expected to reflect on both the knowledge production built by research projects and the teaching practices.
Three specific partnerships in the fields of Materials Science and Metallurgy and involving different Engineering School labs are about to be signed.
The German company has a Technology Development Division, based in São Leopoldo, which is responsible for innovation in the cylinders used in most of the equipment Stihl manufactures. It is the only Unit of the company outside its home country intended to promote research and development. The cylinders manufactured in Vale dos Sinos equip 90% of Stihl tools distributed around the world.
UFRGS will now come into the scene to assist STIHL in the search for new metallic alloys and geometries for the components, in order to improve their performance and reduce their weight as well as the emission of pollutant gases in the combustion process. According to the Product Engineering Manager of STIHL products, Alexandre Sikler, the University has been invited to collaborate with the company due to its recognized expertise in technology research, a key knowledge production the company needs to maintain constant technological renewal. The Vice President of Administration and Finance of the company, Selina Stihl, said the Organization sees the Protocol signed today as the birth of a long-term partnership.
UFRGS’ Vice-President, Professor Rui Vicente Oppermann, commented that the initial distrust phase related to the approximation between UFRGS and the productive sector has long been overcome. According to Oppermann, the path to innovation involves companies, universities and the government.
Translated by translation students enrolled in the course Versão do Inglês II, under the supervision of Professor Elizamari Becker.