WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2013) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was at the University of Waterloo to announce funding for new research and development projects that the automotive industry has identified as priorities. Funded by the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, these projects will reduce harmful vehicle emissions, improve the efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles, and protect Canadian drivers by upgrading vehicle safety.

"Our Government is investing in automotive research and development to help usher in greener, better-performing vehicles. Our support also creates jobs and strengthens the economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "Automotive Partnership Canada does this by enhancing research capacity, driving innovation, and increasing the competitiveness of our industries."

These university-industry partnerships will receive more than $21.4 million in total project support. This includes over $11 million in funding through the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, and more than $10.4 million from industry and other partners.

The University of Waterloo is receiving$1.1 million to develop high-strength steels tailored for individual car components, such as fenders and door frames. These tailored components will have high strength regions that prevent them from intruding into the vehicle in the case of a crash. Of the total amount, the Government of Canada is contributing $605,000, with the remaining support provided by Honda R&D Americas, Magna, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

"Canada's automotive sector attracts some of the most talented researchers because it offers opportunities for innovations that can have a great impact on the lives of Canadians," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). "These most recently announced projects are helping to keep Canada on the leading edge of automotive advancements in safety, efficiency and manufacturing."

Announced 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 an industry-driven initiative, automotive companies play a key role by providing 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.

As the lead agency within Automotive Partnership Canada, NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovation firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and highly skilled workforce that are required for a more prosperous economy.

For more information on Automotive Partnership Canada and the list of recipients, please visit www.apc-pac.ca.

Contact Information:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada

Media Relations
Industry Canada