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Automotive think-tank gets $22 million federal cash injection

Chinese government looks to emerging industries to boost growth.


May 30, 2012
by PLANT STAFF

MONTREAL: Automotive think-tank AUTO21 has received a $22 million cash injection to boost research in protecting vehicle passengers, helping seniors drive safely and advancing electric vehicle technologies.

The funding will support 40 automotive R&D projects at Canadian universities in partnership with more than 100 public and private sector companies.

The funding, announced at the association’s conference in Montreal, Quebec, 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.

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.

“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, which is based at the University of Windsor, supports research projects in the areas of automotive safety and injury prevention; 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.

Check out the full list of AUTO21’s ongoing projects here.