Members of the auto-industry – both large and small – will be pleased to know that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF).The AIF supports leading-edge innovation in automotive manufacturing, as well as research and development to build advanced greener products and processes. While it may be the big boys who benefit most from the fund, smaller members of the industry will also benefit as companies invest into new ways of bringing energy efficiency into the automotive industry.

About the Automotive Innovation Fund

Introduced in 2008, investments as a result of the fund have amounted to $1.6 billion in R&D capacity, promoting “made in Canada” innovation and design. Who is benefiting from the fund? To date, recipients include Ford Motor Company of Canada, Linamar Corporation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. and Magna International.

According to CTV News, the fund, will build on an initial commitment of $250 million over five years that was introduced in 2008, and will provide a further $250 million between 2013-2018 to automotive companies in Canada in support of strategic, large-scale research and development projects.

Promoting energy efficiency within the automotive Industry

As per the website of the federal government, the goals of the AIF fund are to: enhance Canada’s environmental and science/technology agendas; build automotive R&D capacity; secure knowledge-based jobs; support the development and implementation of fuel-efficient technology and processes; and support long term economic benefit to Canada.

Included within these objectives are a set of aims targeted directly at improving energy efficiency within the industry. This includes support for major automotive innovation towards greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles. According to the Action Plan website, projects supported by the fund that are geared towards energy efficiency include:

  • leading-edge engineering, design and prototype development;
  • new product development, including advanced emissions technologies, energy-efficient engines and transmissions, and advanced materials such as engineered plastics and lightweight components and materials;
  • advanced product testing in order to ensure cleaner, more efficient automotive performance and reducing greenhouse gases;
  • the development of new production methods and process technologies, including advanced flexible manufacturing techniques;
  • new or expanded facilities to produce leading-edge, energy-efficient vehicles and powertrains;
  • the introduction of other transformative new production technologies to substantially increase productivity and efficiency (e.g., robotics and advanced IT systems)

Questions or comments about the AIF? Leave them below! Are you a small-industrial member of the industry looking to be more energy-efficient? Check out these rebates and incentives that can help lessen your energy costs.

image credit: I Luv Cameras