Government of Canada

Government of Canada

February 12, 2010 09:30 ET

Government of Canada Drives Support for Auto Innovation: Minister Clement Announces Investment in Next Generation R&D

OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2010) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced the first two recipients of grants under the new Automotive Partnership Canada initiative. The goal-oriented, targeted research projects will help develop ways to make tomorrow's automobiles lighter and more efficient, while improving energy consumption and boosting vehicle fuel efficiency. Minister Clement was joined at the event by the President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Suzanne Fortier.

"A healthy and sustainable automotive industry is a vital part of Canada's economic recovery," said Minister Clement. "Research conducted through the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative will ensure Canada's auto sector remains at the cutting edge of innovation."

The first project, to be carried out by researchers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in partnership with General Motors of Canada, will focus on the development of a new technology to significantly reduce the energy required for automotive heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The second grant was awarded to a research project at the University of Toronto where, along with industry partner Vicicog, researchers will develop a new kind of transmission system that promises to boost vehicle fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent.

"Canadian academic researchers have a lot to contribute to a sustainable automotive industry," said President Fortier. "There is a lot of exciting R&D to be done in this sector."

Announced by Minister Clement last April, Automotive Partnership Canada is a five-year, $145 million initiative to support collaborative research and design to drive the Canadian automotive industry to greater levels of innovation. Research projects approved to date will focus on reducing weight by using more plastic parts in engines, improving the efficiency of transmissions and advancing the state-of-the-art in longer-range electric vehicles.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators to the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28,000 students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. It promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Lynn Meahan
    Press Secretary
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    Martine Perreault
    Media and Public Affairs Officer