Automotive R&D gets a $34M injection

The Federal government is boosting automotive R&D with a $34 million grant for six projects at five universities through its Automotive Partnership Canada initiative and industry support.

March 20, 2012

HAMILTON: The Federal government is boosting automotive R&D with a $34 million grant for six projects at five universities across Canada.

The funding includes almost $19 million from the five-year Automotive Partnership Canada initiative and nearly $15 million from industry and other partners. The following projects received money:

• McMaster University in Hamilton is getting $2.3 million to explore ways to improve the performance of lithium batteries. Researcher Gillian Goward, will collaborate with Bruker Ltd., General Motors of Canada Ltd. and HEKA Electronics Inc.

• Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC is getting $5.5 million. Researcher Steven Holdcroft at will be working with a team of scientists representing nine universities to reduce the cost of PEM fuel cells by checking out alternative non-platinum metals and fabricating advanced layer structures. Industry partners include Automotive Fuel Cell Corp., Ballard Power Systems, BIC Inc., GM Canada and Hydrogenics.

• The University of Waterloo has ben awarded $3.7 million to examine the fabrication and performance feasibility of magnesium-intensive multi-material automotive structures. Researcher Michael Worswick will be working with Cosma International (division of Magna), 3M Canada, Huys Industries, Meridian Lightweight Technologies, CANMET Materials Technology and Laboratory (Natural Resources Canada).

• Dalhousie University in Halifax is getting close to $4.2 million to rapidly identify cell chemistries and operating ranges that deliver the best performance and calendar life from lithium batteries. Researcher Jeff Dahn will be working with industry partners 3M Canada, GM Canada, Magna E-Car Systems, Medtronic Energy and Component Center, Nova Scotia Power.

• Dalhousie University is also getting $2.2 million to look at low-cost ways to use titanium as a lightweighting material. Researcher Stephen Corbin will be working with Kingston Process Metallurgy and Wescast Industries.

• The University of Windsor in Windsor, Ont. will use $1 million to achieve techscale production of electrohydraulic forming (EHF). This process involves the discharging of a high-voltage current between two electrodes submerged in a fluid and using the pressure wave to form a sheet metal blank against a die at very high strain rates. Researcher Daniel Green will be working with Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, Amino North America Corp., Novelis Global Technology Centre, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, and CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory.

The partnerships are supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and National Research Council Canada (NRC).

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