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Canadian Universities Get $22M for Automotive Research

Chevy Volt (courtesy, GM)

Chevy Volt (courtesy, GM)

The AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, a Canadian auto industry research program, will get an infusion of $22 million to fund a series of new projects at Canadian universities for the next two years. The Canadian government will contribute $10 million to the fund, with manufacturers, parts makers, and materials suppliers proving the remainder.

The funding aims to support 40 automotive R&D projects at Canadian universities working with more than 100 private companies and organizations. The 40 projects are expected to involve some 200 academic faculty and 400 graduate students.

The research funded by the AUTO21 Network will include advanced material research, biofuels and clean diesel, children’s vehicle safety in Aboriginal communities, and improvements to manufacturing processes. The research is also expected to examine electric vehicle technologies and senior citizen safety issues.

In March 2012, the Canadian government allocated some $19 million for automotive R&D, with another $15 million added by industry. The funding went directly to universities, such as McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario for its studies on lithium-ion batteries. Funds were also allocated to Canadian science agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and National Research Council Canada.

Also in March, the AUTO21 Network unveiled its Venture Partnership Fund. This fund supports short-term projects, for periods of about six months, on exploratory studies in advance of longer-term R&D, and for establishing industry partnerships.

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