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$22 million for car and driver research

Funding will support 40 automotive R&D projects


May 31, 2012
by Canadian Automotive Review staff

MONTREAL: Protecting vehicle passengers in side crashes with trucks, helping Canadian seniors drive safely and advancing electric vehicle technologies are just a few of the projects that will benefit from a $22 million investment by Canada’s automotive research program, the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence. The funding will support 40 automotive R&D projects at Canadian universities in partnership with more than 100 public and private sector companies.

The $22 million will support the projects for two years and includes $10 million from the Government of Canada through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. The remaining $12 million consists of contributions from Canada’s automotive sector, including numerous automakers, parts manufacturers and material suppliers.

“Our government’s first priority is the economy—creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Gary Goodyear, minister of state for science and technology. “The ideas, products and technologies generated by these AUTO21-funded research projects will create jobs and businesses, help develop highly skilled people, strengthen our economy and improve the long-term competitiveness of our Canadian automotive industry.”

Nearly 200 academic researchers will contribute to the 40 projects, which will also provide training opportunities to about 400 graduate students. Topics include advanced material research, biofuels and clean diesel, children’s vehicle safety in Aboriginal communities, and improvements to manufacturing processes. A full list and summaries of projects is available at www.auto21.ca.

“These projects focus on automotive knowledge and technology that are close to commercialization for the industry partners,” said Dr Peter Frise, AUTO21 CEO and scientific director. “AUTO21 is helping to ensure Canadian companies remain competitive in the global automotive sector while helping to develop technologies that will help keep Canadians safer on the roads.”

AUTO21 supports research projects in six key areas: health, safety and injury prevention; societal issues; materials and manufacturing; design processes; powertrains, fuels and emissions; and intelligent systems and sensors. A recent independent economic impact study of AUTO21 projects estimates that Network research is generating more than $1.1 billion in economic and social benefits to Canada. AUTO21 is supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program, and its administrative centre is hosted by the University of Windsor.