Ford Media Center

Ford and Michigan State University Expand Research Partnership into Sensors, Lightweight Materials, Autonomous Technology

  • Ford Motor Company and Michigan State University renew and expand their research partnership to allow for more collaboration on a variety of projects related to automobiles
  • Expanded collaborative alliance is designed to develop a wide array of innovations for automobiles, focusing on sensors, lightweight materials and autonomous technology
  • Over the past four years, Ford and MSU have been involved in more than 50 research projects, including powertrain, materials and electrification collaborations

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 20, 2018 – Ford Motor Company and Michigan State University have renewed and expanded their collaborative research alliance to enable further cooperation in a number of different fields – allowing the university to showcase its expertise and create new features for Ford customers.

By strengthening the four-year research and development partnership, this expanded collaborative alliance is designed to develop a wide array of innovations with a focus on sensors, lightweight materials, autonomous technology and mobility.

Ford chose to grow its partnership with Michigan State based on the number of successful projects the company and university have worked on together, including collaborations in advanced engines, composite materials and information technology. Academic and industrial research and development partnerships have a proven internal process to evolve, refine and implement successful collaborative results.

“No company – no matter how large or vertically integrated – has the internal resources to lead in all important technical areas,” said Ed Krause, Ford global manager, external alliances. “Partnering with leading research universities like Michigan State is an important part of Ford’s strategy to access world-class external talent.”

Since 2014, Ford has invested funds for research on more than 50 projects at Michigan State, including in areas such as powertrain, materials and electrification. Now, with a broader range of collaboration and research proposals, the expanded project portfolio will involve existing and new Michigan State faculty and students, as well as Ford researchers.

“This is a leading example of collaboration between industry and academia that demonstrates how MSU partnerships can both advance research and help develop innovative global solutions,” said Charles Hasemann, Michigan State University assistant vice president for innovation and economic development, MSU Innovation Center.

“Research collaborations like this one with Ford allow companies and MSU to share resources and expertise to solve real-world problems,” he added. “The novel outcomes from these collaborations advance knowledge and understanding, while also achieving a positive economic outcome for the company and for Michigan.”

As Ford continues to strengthen its core automotive business while developing emerging opportunities and new mobility solutions, the company believes its research alliance with Michigan State University can further develop its technical capabilities.

“Our four-year research alliance with Michigan State has taken our relationship to the next level and has surpassed Ford’s expectations,” said Krause. “Not only have we been able to deepen relationships with longtime faculty collaborators, we have discovered and engaged new expertise and capability at Michigan State in both expected and unexpected areas.”

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

About MSU Innovation Center

The MSU Innovation Center combines innovation, technology transfer, start-up support, and a portfolio of dedicated business and community partnerships to bring cutting-edge ideas to the marketplace. Composed of Business-CONNECT, MSU Technologies and Spartan Innovations, the MSU Innovation Center stewards ideas from research concept to product, launching more than 170 discoveries into patented products and start-up businesses annually. Learn more at http://innovationcenter.msu.edu.

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