HAMILTON, Ont.— McMaster University has been given $11.5 million from the federal government to create the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) to research and develop green automotive innovations.
The money comes from FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative, which encourages businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake R&D.
The university will focus the funds on hybrid and electric powertrains, batteries and lightweight materials—all with an eye towards powering a green automotive sector in Canada.
“This investment will not only create jobs but help build an automotive resource centre putting southern Ontario at the forefront in the development of green automotive technologies,” said Minister of State Gary Goodyear.
The plan is to foster collaboration between businesses, manufacturers, parts suppliers, and researchers to meet the growing demand for green and efficient vehicles.
Once completed, the MARC is expected to employ approximately 120 to 150 workers from the private, public and academic sectors in 80,000 square feet of research space.
“MARC will allow our university to support this sector through industry-driven research and prototype development, as well as provide opportunities for students to work directly on priority projects with our industry partners,” said Patrick Deane, president and vice-chancellor at McMaster University.
The centre will draw upon McMaster University’s automotive research strengths, which include the $10-million Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain (held by Dr. Ali Emadi), and MacAuto, the university’s coordinating body for automotive research and development.
There will likely be partnerships or synergies with CANMET, a federal government materials technology lab which opened at the McMaster Innovation Park in February 2011 to assist academic and industry partners with developing new materials and metal technologies.
According to the government site, applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis.
Funding is available for projects that enhance productivity by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills; diversify the regional economy by increasing the number of new industries or opportunities; or projects that build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario.