Starting the engine: A*STAR musters global leaders and local stakeholders of automotive industry

December 28, 2010

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) today announced the funding of eight new projects under its Capabilities for Automotive Research (A*CAR) consortium, bringing the total value to S$17.5 million for the consortium's 10 research projects jointly selected with industry partners to tackle current challenges in the automotive industry.

Highlights from A*CAR's pre-competitive core research projects include:

Car Communications and SafetyPrecision Engineering and New MaterialsElectronicsElectrical VehiclesEight New Members for A*CAR Consortium

The A*CAR consortium, founded in 2008 with founding members Bosch, Infineon Technologies, and Dou Yee, is now joined by eight new members. The current membership stands at 11 companies. These included global automotive industry players Toyota Tsusho, GP Batteries, and Anshan Kingpowers Advanced Materials; home-grown globally competitive company ST Kinetics; and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) Addvalue Technologies, CEI Contract Manufacturing and Infowave. A full listing of consortium members is at Annex B.

The consortium aims to drive technology innovation in the automotive industry by forming value chains between automotive OEMs, system integrators, and local supporting industries. By having multiple modes of collaboration in the consortium framework, members can participate in A*CAR through core projects, which are pre-competitive and fully funded by A*STAR; or through special projects which involve co-funded competitive research.

Commenting at the consortium's signing ceremony at Fusionopolis, A*STAR's Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh said: "The significant increase in participation coming from both the MNCs and the SMEs testifies to the value proposition of the A*CAR consortium. This value is derived from the suite of world class research capabilities that have been developed in A*STAR research institutes and also the seamless access to these capabilities through the consortium."

He added: "A salient feature of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2015 plans is to leverage on the investments in the public sector to catalyse the growth of private sector R&D activities. The A*CAR consortium is illustrative of this approach through creating a platform for public-private partnership. In addition, the consortium also provides opportunities for the SMEs to work alongside global industry leaders to stay relevant and competitive as part of the value chain in the automotive industry."

Comments from New A*CAR Members

Said Mr Andrew Ng, CEO and Chairman of GP batteries: "GP Batteries has always been at the forefront of developing power storage systems, and with the current trend towards more efficient and greener energy sources for automobiles, we are excited about the boundless possibilities of R&D in this area. By addressing current challenges of the industry, the A*CAR R&D consortium allows us to capitalise on the entire value chain from car makers to infrastructure providers to obtain the best possible results."

Mr Yasuhiro Kakihara, Managing Director of Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) commented: "Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) has taken on several new and challenging projects to contribute to the progress of urban mobility for Singapore, and to provide cleaner, greener, and safer transportation solutions. Joining the A*CAR consortium gives us the opportunity to move forward in various aspects of this intended vision. With an available pool of technical expertise, experienced researchers, and a well-structured architecture for concept development, both on the technical and commercial front, A*CAR allows us to really speed up and realise our plans systematically, to define new standards in the automotive industry."

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