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May 24, 2010 – Snowmobile Digest

May 24, 2010
Filed under Features

BRP Opens New Development Center in Austria

BRP-Powertrain, BRP’s Austrian affiliate, recently opened its Regionales Innovations Centrum (RIC), which will design and develop efficient powertrain technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of BRP products while training its employees to stay ahead of technological trends.

“The RIC is BRP’s response to Europe’s 2020 strategy to help it come out of the crisis stronger with a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy,” said Gerd Ohrnberger, vice president and general manager, BRP-Powertrain division. “It’s a platform for the exchange of creative thinking between universities and the industry to increase knowledge and foster innovation. Altogether, the RIC will drive the development of the region and support the Upper Austrian business community.”

Since June 2008, BRP has invested in two R&D centers in Canada: the CTA, an advanced technology center in partnership with the University of Sherbrooke, and the CDI, a design and innovation center. BRP?is complimenting these two facilities with the RIC. The Regionales Innovation Centrum has a two-fold mandate:

1. To focus on designing and developing efficient powertrain technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of BRP products;

2. To provide students and apprentices, through a partnership with the University of Graz and the University of Applied Sciences in Wels, Upper Austria, with top-of-line training from experienced people driven by product innovation.

“This merging of the distinctive strengths of European and North American talent has been one of BRP’s greatest assets for over 40 years,” said José Boisjoli, CEO of BRP. “In the years ahead, we will capitalize on this even more in order to fully participate in a new world economy; one based on creativity and innovation. The RIC will help us emerge with state-of-the-art products with the capacity to change the powersports industry and meet our new and existing customers’ needs.”

During the past three years, BRP has invested almost $38 million in new research and development infrastructures. The RIC represents a joint financial input of about $10.8 million. BRP covered 75 percent of the costs; 24.5 percent came from the municipality of Gunskirchen, supported by the Upper Austrian Government, the city of Wels and the municipalities of the Wels-Land district; as well as a contribution from the Oberbank Wels. psb

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