Proforma Business Impact Partners with Klokwerks to Donate $80,000 to Fund Deep Orange Fellowship
Greenville, South Carolina-based Proforma Business Impact has announced the Klokwerks/Proforma Deep Orange Fellowship. The two-year, $30,000 commitment from Proforma Business Impact to Deep Orange 6 and 7 will support one graduate student at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).
Proforma Business Impact is the first non-manufacturer fellowship partner, joining the likes of Mazda, Bosch and Bridgestone.
Sponsored by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Deep Orange is a vehicle prototype program at CU-ICAR. Automotive engineering students are about 18 months into Deep Orange 6, which is a new urban utility vehicle concept for Toyota’s Scion brand. Deep Orange 7 has been described as a reinvention of the BMW Mini beyond 2025.
"Marketing is an important aspect for each Deep Orange project," said CU-ICAR’s BMW endowed chair in automotive systems integration Paul Venhovens. "Our students have to conduct market analysis and identify target markets to understand the demographics and psychographics of that defined market. In addition, they also need to market the outcome of the Deep Orange project at industry trade shows and major automotive events."
Proforma Business Impact’s relationship with CU-ICAR began with Deep Orange 5. The company’s partner, Klokwerks Digital Inc., created an interactive app that provides an augmented and virtual reality experience inside and out of the vehicle prototype. It allows CU-ICAR leadership and their graduate students to interactively showcase their work on any mobile device. The value of Klokwerks three-year commitment for the development and launch of interactive and immersive augmented reality mobile apps for Deep Orange 5, 6, and 7 is approximately $50,000.
"This is a highly visual, cutting edge tool for graduate students," said Lino Hilario, vice president and partner of Klokwerks. “There’s a sense of pride in helping young minds and working with a world-class research institution such as Clemson University."
Will Quinn, owner of Proforma Business Impact, said the gift of $30,000 over the next two years represents his passion for education and community priorities. "These types of philanthropic investments bring world-class learning opportunities for students,” he said. “It is a distinct honor to support such a great institution and it is a special opportunity to be one of CU-ICAR’s strategic partners."
Venhovens echoed the importance of fellowship partners. "To attract the biggest and brightest minds, you have to recruit them," he said. "We have to compete to make it a more enticing value proposition. We are able to recruit and reward students with these fellowships."