Lab Canada

$11M in funding supports automotive R&D projects

Waterloo, ON Funding for new research and development projects in the automotive industry has been announced by the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative. The projects will reduce harmful vehicle emissions, and improve the efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The university-industry partnerships will receive more than $21.4 million in total project support. This includes over $11 million in funding through the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, and more than $10.4 million from industry and other partners.

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

“Canada’s automotive sector attracts some of the most talented researchers because it offers opportunities for innovations that can have a great impact on the lives of Canadians,” said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). “These most recently announced projects are helping to keep Canada on the leading edge of automotive advancements in safety, efficiency and manufacturing.”

The funded projects are as follows, with project title, researcher, partners and APC funding:

1. Tailored Hot Stamping and Crash Response of Boron Steels; Michael Worswick, University of Waterloo; Honda R&D Americas, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Promatek (Magna), Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI); $605,886

2. Development of Optimal Electric Drivetrains for On-Road Vehicles; Benoit Boulet, McGill University; Linamar, TM4 and Infolytica; $4,719,246

3. Green Sustainable Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems for Service Vehicles; Majid Bahrami, Simon Fraser University; Cool-It Hi Way Services, CrossChasm Technologies and Saputo Dairy Products; $2,923,474

4. Optimization and Control of the New Generation Fuel System (NGFS) Manufacturing Process and the Development of Novel High Pressure Plastic Fuel Tank for Hybrid Systems; Savvas Hatzikiriakos, The University of British Columbia; Kautex; $931,809

5. Manufacturing Policy and the Canadian Automotive Sector: Analysis and Options for Growth, Sustainability and Global Research; Charlotte Yates, McMaster University; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Canadian Auto Workers Union; $2,011,750

Announced in April 2009, Automotive Partnership Canada is a five-year, $145-million initiative that supports collaborative R&D. As an industry-driven initiative, automotive companies play a key role by providing both financial support and essential in-kind contributions to ensure the research projects’ success.