Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center – BMW Startup Garage Joint Innovation Base, aka Joint Innovation Base, officially started the project on May 20th. The project put emphasis on startups in China, and by doing so will try to bridge the gap between the internet, IoT, and the automotive industry.

BMW is lending its BMW Startup Garage which will look out for startups with high potential that will also align with BMW Group’s needs. On the other hand, the Joint Innovation Base will also give the startups access to cloud computing infrastructure from Alibaba. The project will provide the necessary infrastructure to no less than 300 companies. Among those companies, more than twenty startups have started their project with the help of the Joint Innovation Base.

The BMW Startup Garage has teams stationed in Munich, Silicon Valley (Mountain View), Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Tel Aviv.

BMW paired with Alibaba in China to accelerate digital transformation when it comes to vehicles. “Digital innovation happens at a breath-taking pace in China. Our new Joint Innovation Base will act as an accelerator to further strengthen our engagement with Chinese top-startups,” said Peter Lehnert, Vice President New Technologies, Research, and Innovation Digital Car.

The collaboration goes as far back as 2020 when both the companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the digitization strategy into BMW China. This had also ensured an end-to-end online-to-offline digital experience for customers. BMW is continuously investing in R&D in China, and as of now, the company has established a total of three R&D centers in Beijing, a dedicated digital company LingYue Digital Information Technology Co. Ltd and a new Tech-JV named BMW ArcherMind Information Technology Co. Ltd.

The R&D center in Beijing handles the requirements on management, customer orientation, vehicle testing, and validation, homologation and type approval, and tailoring products to Chinese customers. The center in Shanghai deals with research on future mobility, creative design, and digital products and services. The Shenyang center focuses on electric mobility and local production. LingYue Digital Information Technology Co. Ltd focuses on customer-centricity transformation in China.

The joint venture will greatly benefit the company in achieving digital competency in China.