The thematic area of Automotive Research and Innovation encompasses a broad based collaboration among many disciplines and Faculties. The researchers primarily supporting this effort are based in areas that include all the engineering departments, physics, nursing, human kinetics and business. The nature of the research includes automotive health issues, safety, injury prevention (especially children), design processes, materials, manufacturing, testing (including non-destructive), powertrains (including electric vehicles), fuels and emissions, embedded intelligent systems, and sensors. Innovation takes the form of accelerating the transformation of research results into products and employment opportunities by pursuing the optimal path to commercialization.
Collaboration between University researchers and industry has led to the formation of various research centres including the Centre for Integrated Microsystems (RCIM), a NSERC Synergy Award recipient for collaboration with the Canadian Microelectronics Corporation, and the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Centre (IMSC), the Centre for 16 Automotive Research and Education (CARE), the University of Windsor/International Truck and Engine Centre for Innovation, the Clean Diesel Technology Group, the Ford/University of Windsor Powertrain Engineering Research And Development Centre, Fluid Dynamics Research Institute (FDRI), the Light Metals Casting Technology Research Group, the $600 million University of Windsor/Chrysler Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC), the GM/NSERC IRC – Tribology of Lightweight Materials. The University of Windsor is the host institution to AUTO21 – a Network of Centres of Excellence bringing universities and industrial partners to develop innovative products. The Network is funded by the Government of Canada. This Network was renewed in 2009. Several of these initiatives at the University are multidisciplinary and reflect the diversity and complexity of the industry.
Over the past five years the University of Windsor has invested a considerable effort in providing support to our researchers and industrial partners in protecting intellectual property and fostering paths to commercialization. This effort has resulted in significant increases in the acquisition of patents each year. The University was successful in receiving funding ($5M) from the Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) in 2007 and established the Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research, to develop high resolution acoustical imaging for industrial, medical and biometric applications. This institute received additional funding ($3M) in 2011 from the MRI to strengthen its innovation activity. An outstanding example of collaboration and innovation is the establishment of the spin-off company Tessonics Inc. that resulted from a joint research initiative between the University of Windsor and DaimlerChrysler. The University of Windsor will continue to invest in building Canada’s innovation capacity by enhancing the culture of knowledge transfer and utilization among its partners, faculty, staff and students.
In the last five years, in response to the need to diversify technologies to meet transportation needs and to ensure a sustainable environment, a number of prominent research clusters have emerged.