Auto Research Centers on Small Businesses, Schools

Auto Research Centers on Small Businesses, Schools

Three small businesses and two universities are the beneficiaries of cooperative agreements of up to $150,000 that aim to help develop automotive components and subsystems for cleaner, more efficient cars and light trucks.

The agreements, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, will support more than $1 million in cost-shared research in the field of automotive technologies at the small businesses and universities.

"Consumers have saved more than $25 billion through Energy Department-sponsored research in truck and auto fuel efficiency technologies since the 1970s," said Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. "We look forward to greater savings as we continue to further tap the creativity and resourcefulness of the small business and academic communities."

Each of the organizations selected for award of these Phase I cooperative agreements will receive up to $150,000 from DOE under the Cooperative Automotive Research for Advanced Technology Program (CARAT). Under the stipulations of the program, each awardee has to provide a cost-share of at least 20%.

The CARAT Program provides an opportunity for these organizations to research, develop, and validate advanced automotive technologies for cars and light trucks that are ultra-fuel efficient and low in emissions.

The projects selected for award are:
  • Makel Engineering, Chico, Calif. Low Cost Chemical Composition and Mass Flow Sensor System for Compression Ignition Engines Using MEMs Based Sensor Technology
    BST Systems, Inc., Plainfield, Conn. Development and Processing of Novel Carbon Materials for Lithium-ion Systems
  • Superior Graphite Co., Chicago, Ill. Development of the Low Cost, Novel Carbonaceous Materials for Anodes in Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries for Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • University of Michigan, Dearborn, Mich. Development of Thermoplastic Matrix Composite Beams and Tubes for Automotive Applications
The solicitation is the second in a series that the Energy Department’s CARAT Program has issued on specific technology areas of interest. Resulting cooperative agreements can lead to successive phases that begin with technical feasibility and progress to technology validation of vehicle scale prototypes.

In next phase of the program, the small business and university participants will join an industry partner with the technical knowledge, financial resources and commitment to bring the technology to the automotive market.