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Oak Ridge to Lead Auto Supplier R&D Partnership

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will lead research and development work for the automotive supplier industry initiated through the US Automotive Partnership for Advancing Research and Technologies—USAutoPARTs—collaborative announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Made up of a consortium of federal and private partners, USAutoPARTs will perform pre-competitive research targeted at priorities established by the automotive supplier industry. Initial research will focus on advanced materials; electronics and hybrid technologies; and fuels, engine, and emission control technologies.

Signing a memorandum of intent to participate in the alliance were Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Department of Energy Under Secretary Clarence H. Albright Jr. and Neil De Koker, president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).

Through the initiative, suppliers will be able to utilize the expertise of the national laboratory system, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory serving as lead lab for the project, to aid them in research for next-generation of automotive components and systems and helping solve today’s manufacturing problems.

The labs plan to perform advanced research and provide technical assistance valued at up to $9 million beginning in 2008. Suppliers and others may choose to participate in one or more of the current research focus areas or those that will be selected in the future. Participants are required to make a financial contribution to the research, which can include loaned personnel and in-kind contributions.

The areas on which USAutoPARTs will initially focus are aligned with the Vehicle Technologies Program of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Similar support is planned by the US Department of Defense and anticipated from other Federal Agencies as the partnership develops.

ORNL is uniquely suited to addressing the needs of American automotive suppliers. We have a broad portfolio of transportation research and expertise in all aspects of the business, from lightweight components made of carbon fiber to electric motors.

—Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

USAutoPARTs will be located in Shelby Township, Mich., in a 56,000 square foot vehicle R&D center with established laboratory infrastructure that will support up to 175 people. Delphi Corporation is vacating this facility under its corporate restructuring program.

An organizing board has been formed to govern USAutoPARTs and its research mission. Those participating include: Automation Alley; the Center for Automotive Research; Delphi Corporation; McLaren Performance Technologies; the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Original Equipment Suppliers Association; US Army Tank Automotive Research and Development and Engineering Center; Visteon Corporation; and Wayne State University.



Cool bannanas.
They (the pollies can spend trillions on space and military, so if the times call for considertion of these pressing issues, then this could be a meaningful show of support.
properly developed this should be the start of the clawback.


This is the same BS that was used to create "Partnership for New Generation Vehicles" in 1994.
Detroit got $1 billion and delivered nothing. Toyota was excluded but delivered the first Prius ın 1998.


File me with "...the same BS...Partnership for New Generation Vehicles in 1994."

And while we're at it, how much money could be saved by doing away with whatever PR firm is in charge of acronym construction in the naming of all these government boondoggles? US Automotive Partnership for Advancing Research and Technologies, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, etc. If it's not worth voting for without a silly acronym it probably doesn't deserve to be voted for.


The choice not to produce the PNGV cars was a decision made by the U.S. automakers. The fact that Toyota and Honda went ahead and the U.S. auto makers did not is history.

Maybe GM might not have lost $10 billion in 2005 if they had chose to build their PNGV car. They might have had a model out in 2005 ahead of the Camry and Altima hybrids. We will not know, because GM chose not to do that.

Stan Peterson

The US ABC joint government-industry cooperation, took the labratory curiosity the Li-Ion battery to the product stage of development. Now private industry on all the continents is finsihing the job. Under our Anti-trust laws, these kind of consortia are the only real joint ventures allowed. I fully support such open and visible joint ventures.

I would think those those who want to encourage competition, and early adoption of the benefits, would be deleighted. Little that comes out of such work is truly reserved only for the participants. Such work advances the state-of-the-art for all. But then anti-capitalist indoctrianated people who adhere to such drivel, never learned that or any thing else useful

As I recall the USABC was denounced just as vociferously as this by the benighted members of the Party that says its "subsidies for the rich" and other demagogic senourosu phrases.

They think that progress just waits for their golden demagogic commands from on high. Just like the Politburo beleived.

Now that the era of the electrification of ground transport is finaly dawning, development of the finer componentry and mass production of those enabling devices, is the next important items still left on the agenda. I welcome this consortium and think it also serves as a checkpoint on the true situation as the conversion from hydrocarbons to electrons proceeeds.


Private industry leverages off of public dollars in many ways. Roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure benefit private industry immensely and the individual corporation did not have to pay for these, except through their decreasing percentage of the government budgets.

I like the idea that we gain by research at the public level so that we may all benefit. This does not stop the private sector from making advances, but can provide advances where the private sector choses not to go. Risk can endanger profits and some areas may not benefit at all without joint efforts.

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