CLEPA Innovation Awards – showcasing the future of mobility

Continental, FLEX, GKN and ZF won the 2021 edition in four different categories by providing concrete solutions for tomorrow’s automotive needs 

Self-driving shuttles, an e-Drive system for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), a new DC-DC converter for electric motors and a motorcyclist protection system.

These are the winning projects of the 2021 CLEPA Innovation Awards, selected by an international jury of experts who assessed the impact of the innovation and its readiness to enter highly competitive and cutting-edge markets.

When placed side by side, they provide a snapshot of the direction in which future mobility is heading. Automotive suppliers continue to be leaders in finding the solutions that will move the world of tomorrow, bridging the possibilities of new technologies with the needs of a society in constant evolution.  

ZF won in the Connectivity and Automation category developing an Autonomous Mobility Systems with Autonomous Shuttles, equipped with state-of-the-art autonomous driving systems. These include environmental sensors, highly advanced central computers and autonomous driving functions. 

The 3-in-1 eDrive systems proposed by GKN gained the award in the Cooperation category. It provides zero-emissions plug-in hybrid capability, and has been developed in close cooperation with an important premium Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) 

FLEX participated with its Smart Power Conversion Module, a DC-DC converter with size, weight and components reduced by a third, along with all the cost, energy, environmental and flexibility benefits that come with these reductions, which won it the top spot in the Environment category. 

The Safety category was won by Continental, thanks to its Advanced Rider Assistance System, which alerts the motorbike driver to the danger of a forward collision or blind spot thanks to data collected by two cameras and analysed by artificial intelligence.  

The sixth edition of the Innovation Awards gave us a preview of the world in the coming years, when autonomous vehicles, increasingly efficient hybrid powertrains, and connectivity at the service of safety will no longer be novelties but certainties of everyday life. 

Lastly, a special prize was presented to the SMEs and start-ups that also proved leaders in their category, with the companies Argus Cyber Security, ExypnosTwaice and Easyrain selected as winners.  

An outstanding competition for outstanding companies 

The ceremony took place in hybrid form on Tuesday, 26 October, at the Vaudeville Theatre in the centre of Brussels, where over 250 physical and virtual guests were able to watch the presentation of the awards and the announcement of the winners. In this sense, this year’s edition also represented the effort that the whole automotive ecosystem is making to finally get out of the pandemic and back to normality. 

Organised by CLEPA, the European Automotive Suppliers Association, with the support of Deloitte, the #CLEPAawards are an exceptional testing ground for the entire ecosystem of automotive suppliers.  

The competition is open to any company from the supply industry, and the assessment considers innovation elements such as ambition, market relevance, impact and quality to determine their score. These are the four criteria used by the international jury of experts from industry, academia and European institutions to determine the winner in each of the four categories: Connectivity and Automation, Cooperation, Environment and Safety. 

The results of the 2021 edition are:   

Connectivity & Automation   

  • WINNER: ZF – Autonomous Mobility Systems with Autonomous Shuttles 
  • 2nd PRIZE: Robosense – Automotive-grade Smart MEMS LiDAR:RS-LiDAR-M1 
  • 3rd PRIZE: Plastic Omnium – Exterior plastic body panel functionalised with 4D imagining radar 
  • SME WINNER: Argus Cyber Security – ECU Protection 


  • WINNER: GKN Automotive – 3-in-1 eDrive systems 
  • 2nd PRIZE: Sigit – Fully recyclable thermoplastic composites 
  • 3rd PRIZE: Continental – Ac2ated sound X AMBEO Mobility 
  • SME WINNER: Exypnos – Solar roof 


  • WINNER: Flex – Smart Power Conversion Module 
  • 2nd PRIZE: Garrett – E-turbo for hybrid powertrains 
  • 3rd PRIZE: Huntsman – Ultra-low emission foam 
  • SME WINNER: Twaice – Predictive battery analytics software 


  • WINNER: Continental – Advanced Rider Assistance System 
  • 2nd PRIZE: Brigade – Sidescan predict 
  • 3rd PRIZE: TomTom – RoadCheck 
  • SME WINNER: Easyrain – AIS (Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution) & DAI (Digital Aquaplaning Information) 


Information of all the selected technologies is available at the CLEPA Innovation platform. 


    In: CLEPA News, Connectivity & Automation, Environment & Energy, Growth & Competitiveness, Safety
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