University-industry auto projects get $21.4M boost

Funded projects focus on emissions reduction, electric vehicle efficiency, and vehicle safety.

WATERLOO—Canadian university-industry partnerships will receive more than $21.4 million to support projects that the automotive industry has identified as priorities. Funded by the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, the projects intend to reduce vehicle emissions, improve efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles and upgrade vehicle safety.

The funding includes more than $11 million from the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, and another $10.4 million from industry and other partners.

The University of Waterloo will receive $1.1 million to develop high-strength steels tailored for individual car components, such as fenders and door frames. The components will have high strength regions that prevent them from intruding into the vehicle in the case of a crash. The Government of Canada is contributing $605,000 to the project, while the remaining support provided by Honda R&D Americas, Magna, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

The Automotive Partnership Canada, announced in 2009, is a five-year, $145-million initiative to support collaborative R&D and pushes the Canadian automotive industry to greater levels of innovation. Automotive companies play a key role by providing both financial support and essential in-kind contributions to ensure the research projects’ success.

Other previously funded Automotive Partnership Canada research focused on the development of a battery pack thermal management system for hybrid electric vehicles, more efficient systems for lightweight wheel production, enhanced performance catalytic converters, improved fuel cell technology and improved automotive manufacturing workplace design and ergonomics.

A full list of projects can be found here.