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Funding Announcement Under Automotive Partnership Canada

Hamilton, Ontario, March , 2012—The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today announced six new projects supported by the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative. The projects advance research and development (R&D) in Canada's automotive industry by supporting new technologies that will provide lighter material alternatives for cars and significantly enhance battery efficiency for vehicles. Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, was at McMaster University to celebrate the funding the institution received through this initiative.

"The grant provided through Automotive Partnership Canada will support R&D in an area identified by the automotive industry as a priority," said Mr. Wallace. "Our government's investment in automotive R&D will lead to greener, better-performing vehicles, while creating jobs and strengthening our economy."

These university–industry partnerships will receive almost $34 million in total project support. This includes just under $19 million in funding through the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative and nearly $15 million from industry and other partners. These partnerships will be supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and National Research Council Canada (NRC).

McMaster University received $2.3 million to explore ways to improve the performance of lithium batteries. The goal of this project is to bring the next generation of automotive batteries to the cars of tomorrow. The researcher, Dr. Gillian Goward, will collaborate with Bruker Ltd., General Motors of Canada Limited and HEKA Electronics Inc. for this project.

"Canada's scientists and engineers are well positioned to provide the automotive industry with the expertise needed to maintain a strong and sustainable automotive industry," said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "These most recently announced projects will contribute to the evolution of new materials and technologies that will benefit both the automotive sector and consumers."

"Through our investment in state-of-the-art facilities, we are supporting research-driven economic growth and helping to create jobs in Canadian communities," said Gilles G. Patry, CFI President and CEO. "Working with federal partners, the Canada Foundation for Innovation is helping one of Canada's key industries thrive in a global marketplace."

"The National Research Council is committed to working with Canada's auto industry to make it internationally competitive," said John McDougall, President of NRC. "This initiative underlines NRC's support for developing a sustainable and viable auto sector in Canada."

Announced by the Government of Canada in April 2009, Automotive Partnership Canada is a five-year, $145-million initiative that supports collaborative R&D and pushes the Canadian automotive industry to greater levels of innovation. As this is an industry-driven initiative, automotive companies provide 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.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The agency promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

Stephanie Thomas    3/22/2012


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