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Corporate Information

From 2001-2016, the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence has been a prime driver of the evolutionary change in the design, manufacture and use of cars and innovation in the Canadian automotive sector. Many of today’s vehicles are safer, cleaner and more intelligent thanks to the innovative research spurred by AUTO21 and the people trained by the Network. 

AUTO21 was a national research initiative supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat. The Network was founded in 2001 on a pledge to develop a cohesive and internationally competitive Canadian automotive research community. 

In its final year, the Network had grown to include more than 500 researchers, 2,400 student researchers and 685 industry and public sector partners. It became one of the largest and most comprehensive Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence ever funded. 

An economic impact study of Network research projected AUTO21 would generate nearly $2.6 billion in benefits to Canada by the end of its mandate. This includes employment, health, social, environmental and industrial improvements, as well as intellectual property creation and dissemination. AUTO21 research has saved lives, prevented injuries and accidents, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and saved industry millions through the introduction of new technologies and policies.
Collaborative research fostered by AUTO21 has resulted in more than 320 patents, licenses and commercialization agreements and more than 8,630 publications. From improving vehicle safety and fuel economy to advancing manufacturing processes and vehicle connectivity, the Network’s research delivered results.

AUTO21 supported 200 applied research projects within six key themes:

  • Health, Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Societal Issues and the Future Automobile
  • Materials and Manufacturing
  • Powertrains, Fuels and Emissions
  • Design Processes
  • Intelligent Systems and Sensors

All research projects were co-funded by one or more knowledge receptor/external partners to ensure relevance, provide leverage to public NCE funds and reflect the priorities of the Canadian auto industry and related public entities such as the health and legal systems. 

Read the AUTO21 Legacy Report

Audited Financial Statements 2015-2016

The Government of Canada established the Networks of Centres of Excellence program in 1989 to focus Canada’s research expertise in a multitude of areas. Fostering powerful partnerships between university researchers, government and industry, the networks are designed to help develop Canada’s economy and improve the quality of life for Canadians. For more information, please visit