Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Industry Canada

Industry Canada

April 16, 2009 10:30 ET

Minister Clement Acts to Advance Automotive Research in Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 16, 2009) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, announced the establishment of an automotive research fund designed to keep the Canadian auto industry competitive and sustainable.

"Automotive Partnership Canada will enhance our automotive research capacity, fuelling made-in-Canada innovation, increasing our ability to compete internationally and bringing long-term benefits to this important sector," said Minister Clement. "Our government is investing in research and development (R&D) not only because it will lead to greener, better-performing vehicles, but because it will create jobs and strengthen the economy for future generations."

The program will support R&D projects in specific areas, including alternative fuels, next-generation manufacturing, advanced power trains and lighter or more sustainable materials. Proposals will be selected through rigorous, independent peer review.

"Engaging industry to this extent will ensure that innovation moves quickly from the lab to the plant to the showroom," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), speaking on behalf of the five funding partners. "We want international automakers to realize that Canadians aren't just good at building vehicles; we are a great place to conduct leading-edge R&D."

Automotive Partnership Canada involves funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), National Research Council Canada (NRC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program.

Minister Clement announced $145 million in funding over five years for Automotive Partnership Canada. More information, including the funding breakdown by agency, is provided in the attached backgrounder.


BACKGROUNDER

Automotive Partnership Canada

Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) is a five-year (2009-2014), $145-million initiative to support significant, collaborative, industry-driven research and development that benefits the Canadian automotive industry.

APC involves funding from the following agencies:

- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC): $85 million;

- National Research Council Canada (NRC): $30 million;

- Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI): $15 million;

- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC): $5 million; and

- Canada Excellence Research Chairs program (CERC): $10 million.

Proposals funded under this initiative will be led and submitted by university or government (NRC) researchers, but they must be clearly driven by industry needs.

Industry Task Force

An Industry Task Force was established in the fall of 2008 to provide input and guidance on establishing the APC. The initiative's outline, research priorities and structure reflect the recommendations of this task force.

Research Areas

APC will support research and development (R&D) activities in the following 10 areas:

- lighter weight or sustainable materials;

- advanced powertrain;

- energy storage;

- application of alternative fuels;

- vehicular software;

- electronics and mechatronics(i) that enhance safety or performance;

- wired and wireless communications;

- manufacturing processes that reduce mass;

- manufacturing processes for cost reduction and quality improvement; and

- improving manufacturing flexibility and efficiency.

Project Office

NSERC, in cooperation with the other partner agencies, is establishing an Automotive Project Office. The project office will:

- act as a portal for industry to access APC;

- publicize the initiative to industry, academia, and NRC researchers;

- proactively broker partnerships between companies and university/NRC researchers; and

- provide guidance on proposal development.

NRC's new Centre for Automotive Materials and Manufacturing

The NRC opened its new Centre for Automotive Materials and Manufacturing in London earlier this month. The centre will develop innovative solutions for the auto industry through engineering and research on lightweight materials and advanced manufacturing.

(i) Combination of mechanical engineering, electronics and computer engineering

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Laryssa Waler - A/Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    NSERC
    Natasha Gauthier
    Senior Advisor, Media Relations
    613-943-8621
    613-878-8048 (cell)
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502