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NRC-Magna joint R&D centre to develop composite technology for autos


Ottawa, ON – Magna Exteriors and Interiors, an operating unit of Magna International, and National Research Council Canada (NRC) have formed a partnership to develop next-generation vehicles with lighter, more durable parts that are safer, affordable, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient.

The agreement includes the creation of the Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence at the Magna Exteriors and Interiors facility in Concord, Ontario.

This new research and development centre, which represents a joint private-public investment, will develop composite technology for the Canadian and global automotive industry.

“Automotive suppliers and original equipment manufacturers that lead the industry in innovation and productivity know that vehicles of the future will need more composite content in order to provide the fuel economy, utility and safety that consumers demand,” said Bob Brownlee, president, Magna Exteriors and Interiors. “The Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence will help reinforce Magna’s position as a supplier of lightweight, cost-effective composite solutions to the global automotive market.”

The centre will be equipped with leading-edge moulding equipment for thermoplastic composites. This will provide teams from Magna and NRC with the tools needed to work together on developing lightweight and durable automotive parts using composites such as direct long fibre thermoplastics and sheet moulding compound.

These technologies have been identified as the best prospects for reducing the weight of structural car parts, making them more fuel-efficient and affordable.

Joint project work in composites will begin immediately, while the new research facility is expected to be operational in summer 2010.