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MSU, Ford collaboration increases research partnership into sensors, lightweight materials, autonomous technology
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  • Helmet Michigan State University
    Helmet Michigan State University
  • Dearborn, Mich. — Michigan State University’s research alliance with Ford Motor Company will continue advancing knowledge and transforming lives with the collaborative increase in several different fields.

    Today’s announcement of the four-year research and development partnership to develop a wide array of innovations focuses on sensors, lightweight materials, autonomous technology and mobility.

    “This is a leading example of collaboration between industry and academia that demonstrates how MSU partnerships can both advance research and help develop innovative global solutions,” Charles Hasemann, Michigan State University assistant vice president for innovation and economic development, MSU Innovation Center, said.

    Ford chose to grow its partnership with MSU based on the number of successful projects from the collaborative alliance, including advanced engines, composite materials and information technology. Academic and industrial research and development partnerships have a proven internal process to evolve, refine and implement successful collaborative results.

    “No company – no matter how large or vertically integrated – has the internal resources to lead in all important technical areas,” Ed Krause, Ford global manager, external alliances, said. “Partnering with leading research universities like Michigan State is an important part of Ford’s strategy to access world-class external talent.”

    Since 2014, Ford has invested funds for research on more than 50 projects at Michigan State, including in areas such as powertrain, materials and electrification. Now, with a broader range of collaboration and research proposals, the expanded project portfolio will involve existing and incoming Michigan State faculty and students, as well as Ford researchers.

    “Research collaborations like this one with Ford allow companies and MSU to share resources and expertise to solve real-world problems,” Hasemann said in a statement. “The novel outcomes from these collaborations advance knowledge and understanding, while also achieving a positive economic outcome for the company and for Michigan.”

    As Ford continues to strengthen its core automotive business while developing emerging opportunities and new mobility solutions, the company believes its research alliance with MSU will strengthen development of its technical capabilities.

    “Our four-year research alliance with Michigan State has taken our relationship to the next level and has surpassed Ford’s expectations,” Krause said. “Not only have we been able to deepen relationships with longtime faculty collaborators, we have discovered and engaged new expertise and capability at Michigan State in both expected and unexpected areas.”