New International Collaborations will Enhance Canadian and Norwegian Automotive Research

    WINDSOR, ON, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - Collaborating on automotive research became
easier today for Canadian and Norwegian investigators. A Memorandum of
Understanding was signed by officials on behalf of the AUTO21 Network of
Centres of Excellence, Canada's automotive R&D organization and RTIM Raufoss,
a technology institution that manages the Norwegian Centre of Expertise in
automotive light materials research and automated production.
    The agreement will allow researchers in each country easier access for
knowledge transfer and exchange through the development of joint projects
within the areas of manufacturing and materials technologies. It also provides
excellent opportunities for student exchanges between the two countries for
those completing PhD, Master and Bachelor degrees.
    While there are differences in the automotive industries of Canada and
Norway, both countries possess excellent lightweight materials capabilities.
Lightweight materials hold great promise for future automotive technologies
since increasing the content of lightweight materials may help vehicles become
more energy efficient.
    "We are pleased to help our research community leverage opportunities to
partner with leading Norwegian researchers and gain access to the excellent
research facilities of RTIM Raufoss," said Dr. Peter Frise, Scientific
Director and CEO of AUTO21. "We are excited at the prospect of developing
joint projects that will serve the global automotive industry, and even more
excited at the aspect of AUTO21 student researchers gaining valuable
experience through exchange visits."
    RTIM CEO, Dr. Sverre Narvesen commented that "RTIM is excited about the
potential opportunities for collaboration with AUTO21, and we believe that the
signing will be a first step in a fruitful dialogue for projects of mutual
interest. For Norway, it is particularly interesting to cooperate with Canada
since both countries aim at advanced industrial solutions with the focus on
development of technologies and processes in order to compete on a global
scale. It is of utmost importance to provide high quality products to an
industry which demands only the very best when it comes to safety. This can
best be achieved through industrially oriented research efforts where more
nations come together to reach common goals."
    The signing took place today at the University of Windsor, AUTO21's host
institution. Signatories included Dr. Frise and Dr. Narvesen.

    The AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence currently supports 54
auto-related research projects with an annual $11 million budget of public and
private sector funding. Research occurs in six key areas: health, safety and
injury prevention; societal issues; materials and manufacturing; design
processes; powertrains, fuels and emissions; and intelligent systems and
sensors. AUTO21 is part of the federal Network of Centres of Excellence
program, and its administrative centre is hosted by the University of Windsor.

    Raufoss Technology and Industrial Management (RTIM) is a Norwegian
technology organization with core competence in automated manufacturing,
technology management, value chain management and material technology. As a
subsidiary (50.1%) of the SINTEF Research Group, a public, scientific and
technology research organization, RTIM oversees the management of the
Norwegian Centre of Expertise in automotive light materials research and
automated production (NCE Raufoss). Its core strength is to leverage
collaboration with academia, business and industry and to transfer theory into
practical and cutting edge solutions. SINTEF is largest independent research
organization in Scandinavian and the fourth largest European research

For further information:

For further information: Stephanie Campeau, Communications Manager,
AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, Tel: (519) 253-3000 ext. 4129, Cell:
(519) 890-6830; Sverre Narvesen, CEO, RTIM, Tel: + 47 91 54 01 22, Email:

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