Automotive Partnership Canada provides a unique opportunity to combine the strengths of five organizations to drive innovation and competitiveness within the Canadian automotive industry.
APC is encouraging active collaboration among natural sciences and engineering academic researchers, NRC researchers and social sciences and humanities researchers. However, APC will not specify the degree or nature of collaboration among particular researchers, fields of study, institutions or companies. The emphasis is on ensuring that the right mix of participants is in place to suit industrially driven research needs.
APC is a partnership between five federal agencies, within the portfolio of Industry Canada, that supports research at Canadian universities and government laboratories:
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is Canada's largest federal funding agency for university and college-based research in the natural sciences and engineering. As the lead agency within Automotive Partnership Canada, NSERC is investing $85 million over five years. While NSERC's funds may only be directed towards university and college based research, NSERC is committed to exercising flexibility within its funding mechanisms to support research that is driven by industrial needs and comprises active industrial participation and collaboration.
The National Research Council (NRC) is the primary public research organization in Canada that supports industry though collaborative research, and the only partner agency within APC that conducts research. Broad competencies and state-of-the-art facilities throughout its 20 institutes enable NRC to conduct research in a wide variety of fields that impact automotive technologies, such as advanced materials, manufacturing, information and communication, alternative fuels and aerodynamics. Through NRC Automotive, a special NRC initiative, the agency is investing $30 million over five years in APC. NRC Automotive will place particular emphasis on research that brings proof-of-concept technologies closer to commercialization and provides validation and demonstration of the applicability for use on the vehicle. NRC Automotive will deploy R&D in lightweight materials, structures and fuel efficiency, alternative propulsion, and information and telecommunication technologies for vehicles.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.
The CFI is committing $15 million to APC. Requests for funding from the CFI for research infrastructure must form part of a larger, integrated project involving research activities to be supported by other APC partner agencies. As with all CFI funding, eligible institutions can obtain funding for up to 40 percent of the total eligible costs. The remainder, through cash or eligible in-kind, must be provided by the institution(s) and/or eligible funding partners (industry, provincial governments, and others).
Infrastructure supported by CFI within APC is eligible for support under the CFI Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF).
Please note that CFI's $15 million contribution to APC is inclusive of IOF support.
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. SSHRC is devoting $5 million to APC over five years to support social science research that correlates with the priority research areas being targeted within this initiative.
The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) is a new program that will strengthen Canada's ability to attract the world's top researchers and develop ambitious research programs in the four priority research areas noted in the Government of Canada's Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy: environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences, and information and communications technologies. CERC will establish 20 prestigious research chairs in universities across the country. Each chair will receive up to $10 million over seven years to conduct research in areas of strategic importance to Canada. At least one chair will be allocated to research that is of direct benefit to the automotive industry.