Waterloo, Ontario – General Motors of Canada is collaborating with universities on electric vehicles and automotive software systems, including the University of Waterloo in Ontario, and a network of other universities across Canada.

A new five-year, $10.5-million partnership has been established between GM, Waterloo-based Maplesoft Inc., and a multi-disciplinary research team at the University of Waterloo to tackle the challenges of next-generation electric vehicles. Through model-based design and prototype testing, the team will investigate crucial technologies for achieving more widespread use of electric vehicles. The research is being supported by the Automotive Partnership Canada, which is contributing $3.6 million, and the Engineering Research Council of Canada as the lead agency. The program will also receive $2.5 million from the Ontario Research Fund.

The development and validation of key enabling technologies such as vehicle stability control, power management systems, and battery monitoring and charging devices will be important focus areas for the research team. The technologies originating from the university will also be tested by GM vehicle development teams.

In Hamilton, Ontario, the Network on Engineering Complex Software Intensive Systems for Automotive Systems (NECSIS) was announced at McMaster University. NECSIS is a $16.6 million national research network created to tackle the technological challenges related to the growing complexity of automotive software systems.

Under the new university-industry R&D collaboration, GM and IBM Canada will mobilize leading software engineers at seven Canadian universities and a Montreal research centre. The program also includes the participation of Ottawa-based Malina Software Corporation, which focuses on advanced software engineering methods.

“As a leading supporter of collaborative research in Canada, we have helped build a strong automotive innovation network,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director of GM of Canada. “NECSIS is a key initiative as we rethink the automobile and deploy innovative approaches to develop tomorrow’s technologies.”

Other universities in the network include Ontario’s McGill University, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto; the University of British Columbia; and Centre Recherche Informatique de Montréal. NECSIS is backed by a five-year, $10.5 million grant from the Automotive Partnership Canada, of which the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is the lead agency. The network will be based in the new McMaster Automotive Resource Centre at the university’s Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario, which also houses research initiatives related to new hybrid powertrain and lightweight materials.

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