Ford Motor Company, The Boeing Company and Northwestern University are forming a new alliance to research commercial applications of nanotechnology.
The announcement comes at the same time that Ford and Northwestern University are dedicating a new $30-million engineering center on the school’s campus.
The research alliance agreement, which is expected to become final later this month, is designed to support advancements in transportation technology ranging from improved power for hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs to higher capacity hydrogen storage for cars.
While the initial focus of the research will be nanotechnology, other potential research areas include specialty metals, thermal materials, coatings and sensors.
Ford and Boeing have been working together for some 10-years on technology development projects that have touched on human factors modeling, aluminum bonding and rapid prototyping.
The new Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center at Northwestern was made possible through a $10 million grant from Ford Motor Company as well as other corporate donations from ITW, Deere & Company, 3M and Steelcase.