Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), founded in 1978, has the mission to develop and transfer innovative products, processes and methodologies in order to improve the competitiveness of the products of the Fiat Group. Also through the cooperation with a pan-European and increasingly global network of more than 1800 partners from industry and academia, CRF conducts collaborative research initiatives at the national and international levels in partnership with all the key public and private stakeholders concerned with sustainable mobility, targeting specifically the industrial exploitation of research.
With a workforce of approximately 900 full-time professionals, CRF develops research and innovation along the three principal axes of sustainability:
- Environmental Sustainability, which encompasses all aspects relating to energy efficiency as well as to the reduction of the impact on the environment over the entire lifecycle of the vehicle;
- Social Sustainability, focusing on the safety of transportation systems through the development of active, passive, preventive and cooperative solutions while addressing the mobility of all users irrespective of their specific needs;
- Economically sustainable competitiveness, oriented towards viable innovation, i.e., improving the performance and functionality of new vehicles in a cost-effective manner while reducing the time-to-market of research results.
The CRF research activities imply strategic competences not only in the field of automotive engineering, but also in the fields of manufacturing, advanced materials, ICT and electronics, as well as a wide range of state-of-the-art laboratories and extensive test facilities, including EMC chambers and a dynamic driving simulator with immersive virtual reality.
CRF participates with a leading role in the European “Green Vehicle Initiative” and “Factories of the Future”, the Public Private Partnerships conceived by the European Commission in 2009 to focus public and private research on issues of direct and significant relevance to the Europe with regard to the competitiveness of industry and employment. Within this context, CRF is also actively involved in several key European Technology Platforms including: ERTRAC (road transport), EPOSS (smart systems), EUMAT (materials), MANUFU-TURE (manufacturing), each of which has proved to be particularly effective at bringing together key stakeholders within an integrated approach to research and innovation.
By December 2013, the Intellectual Property developed by CRF included a total of 2722 patents, both granted and pending, protecting 662 inventions. Over recent years the technology-driver role of CRF has enabled the industrialization and commercialization of a significant number of distinctive and highly innovative products for Fiat including, in the powertrains the new TwinAir engine; and in the vehicles area: energy saving air-conditioning systems, the Blue&MeTM connectivity product, Driving Advisor and Magic Parking driver-assistance systems and the ECODriveTM eco-navigation solutions.
Dr. Mauro SGROI
PhD: degree in Materials Science at the University of Torino (2001). He has worked at Centro Ricerche Fiat as a researcher in the chemical laboratories since 2001. He obtained his PhD in Materials and Technology Science working at CRF in cooperation with the University of Torino (2005). He has previously been involved with several EU projects, including BIOFEAT (FP6), MOREPOWER (FP6), ORION (FP7), AddNANO (FP7), DURAMET (FP7) and SSH2S (FP7). Mauro was the coordinator of the Italian research project METISOL devoted to the production of methane/hydrogen mixture using concentrated solar power.
After graduating (1995) at Turin University in Industrial Chemistry, Massimo started his collaboration with Centro Ricerche Fiat in 1996. He has collaborated extensively as a researcher in EU funded projects in the field of materials/catalyst development and characterisation for automotive power train application.