OCE and AUTO21 team up to drive innovation

May 26, 2015

TORONTO/WINDSOR, May 26, 2015 – As one of the key drivers of Ontario’s economy, the automotive industry relies on innovation to ensure it stays globally competitive. And fueling innovation is exactly what Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and AUTO21 are doing through a partnership that will move more automotive-based research from the classroom to the showroom.

The two organizations are working together with the private sector to support up to 50 practicums (four-month learning opportunities with Ontario-based industry partners) valued at $20,000 each that will provide graduate students and undergraduate students in their final year of study with real-world experience. Students will work on automotive-related research projects jointly developed by an academic supervisor and a private sector host.

“OCE and AUTO21 have a great history of working together to advance automotive research and development in Ontario,” said OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “This new initiative, which falls under our TalentEdge Internship Program, is going to support the kind of real world experience that is needed to see great ideas become great innovations with the resulting economic benefit.”

The program will introduce students to practical business and technical problems and provide them with the opportunity to put their scientific and technical expertise to work addressing the needs of participating companies. On the flip side, those companies receive a cost-effective way to conduct R&D while students gain relevant industry experience that enhances their studies.

“Students at our educational institutions are Canada’s future leaders,” said Dr. Peter Frise, AUTO21 Scientific Director and CEO. “By working on collaborative projects with industry, students will develop cutting-edge knowledge and practical expertise as they contribute to a sustainable automotive industry for Canada. We are thrilled to add a new facet to our successful relationship with the Ontario Centres of Excellence by integrating students and industry to ensure the automotive sector in Canada remains competitive.”

As home of the eighth largest auto sector in the world, the importance of supporting the sector in Ontario is not lost on either OCE or AUTO21.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are directly tied to the manufacture and sale of cars and trucks which now pumps about $16 million into Canada’s economy each year. Ontario is also home to 12 production facilities operated by five global automotive manufacturers, more than 700 parts producers such as Magna, Linamar, Woodbridge Group and KSR International, and approximately 500 tool, die and mold outfits.

More information can be found here.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at

About AUTO21

AUTO21 is a national automotive research initiative supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat. AUTO21 brings together nearly 200 top Canadian researchers at 48 universities and partners them with more than 130 industry and government partners to engage in applied automotive R&D. For more information, please visit


Media contacts:

Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
416-861-1092 x 1022 

Kristie Pearce
Communications Manager
519-253-3000 x 4128