Program Partnerships Accelerate Auto Innovation
The auto industry has been stuck in the Stone Age for much too long. But with the help of a few strategic program partnerships, the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) hopes to accelerate innovation that helps Ontario’s automobile industry remain competitive in the global market.

The simple objective of the programs led by OCE and its partners is to “move more automotive-based research from the classroom to the showroom.” On behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment, and Infrastructure, OCE has agreed to pledge a $1 million investment to support the innovation of driverless and connected vehicles.

In addition, OCE will team up with AUTO21, the national research initiative aimed at building a stronger automotive sector through public/private sector collaborative research and the development of human and social capital, to provide 50 lucky students the opportunity to gain practical experience in automotive industry R&D.

Investing in an Economic Driver

The automotive industry is an important driver of Ontario’s economy, and staying on the leading edge of technological innovation is vital if the industry is to remain strong. “Ontario’s automotive sector is an important part of the provinces economy and we are excited to be able to support it through our programs,” explained Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE.

The investments will establish the Connected Vehicle/Autonomous Vehicle (CVAV) Program, which encourages the development of vehicles that “use wireless technology to link with other vehicles, transportation infrastructure and mobile devices, making it easier for drivers to access the information they need to be safe.” This month, OCE was set to begin accepting proposals for the program from interested companies and academics in Ontario.

Giving Students ‘Real-World Experience’

The OCE also has another program focused on automotive research and development. Through their partnership with AUTO21, and with private sector support, the OCE developed the TalentEdge Internship Program.

The program offers 50 practicums, four-months in length, valued at $20,000 each, that give graduate students and undergraduate students in their final year opportunities to work with Ontario-based automotive partners and gain valuable industry experience working on a number of automotive research projects that will be developed by the student’s academic supervisor and private sector host.

Through the program, students will be invited to use their scientific and technical expertise to solve practical business and technical problems that address the real needs of participating companies. From these companies’ perspective, the program provides a cost-effective means of conducting valuable R&D while giving the next generation of auto innovators relevant industry experience that ultimately enhances their academic studies.

“Students at our educational institutions are Canada’s future leaders,” said Dr. Peter Frise, Scientific Director and CEO of AUTO21. “By working on collaborative projects with industry, students will develop cutting-edge knowledge and practical expertise as they contribute to a sustainable automotive industry for Canada. We are thrilled to add a new facet to our successful relationship with the Ontario Centres of Excellence by integrating students and industry to ensure the automotive sector in Canada remains competitive.”

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Posted by: DSR
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Tag: Business Start Ups
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