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Article Released Thu-28th-October-2010 13:09 GMT
Contact: Lee Swee Heng Institution: The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
 Starting the engine: A*STAR Musters Global Leaders and Local Stakeholders of Automotive Industry In R&D Consortium For Next-Generation Vehicles

Singapore, 28 Oct - Total of S$17.5 million committed to date for 10 research projects that will redefine communications and safety, energy efficiency, as well as materials and electronics in future transportation

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Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar
STARTING THE ENGINE: A*STAR MUSTERS GLOBAL LEADERS AND LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS OF AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN R&D CONSORTIUM FOR NEXT-GENERATION VEHICLES

Total of S$17.5 million committed to date for 10 research projects that will redefine communications and safety, energy efficiency, as well as materials and electronics in future transportation

A*CAR Consortium is joined by 8 new members, bringing the total membership to 11 companies

1. 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.

2. Highlights from A*CAR’s pre-competitive core research projects include:

a. Car Communications and Safety

Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar. Roads will become safer with the development of this electronic beam-steering system. Aimed at providing a 360-degree sensing system, this project will help drivers/cars to avoid collision with other vehicles and humans, enable drivers to overtake other cars and change lanes safely, as well as park the cars neatly. By developing both hardware and software for millimeter-wave Short Range Radar (SRR) and Long Range Radar (LRR) in vehicles, this project will enhance the thrill of driving while keeping drivers safe.

b. Precision Engineering and New Materials

High performance ternary polymer composite materials. Cars of the future can be lighter yet stronger. This new, higher strength plastic material made of nanofiller can replace glass fibers used widely in cars today. Lighter cars will mean driving down fuel consumption. Eg, with every 10% reduction in weight in cars, there would be an average savings in fuel of 6%.

Wear-resistant, heat reflective and self-cleaning material for automotive body. The new nanocomposite material, with its multi-coating layer, is not only wear- and chemical-resistant; it is also able to clean itself through photo-catalysis. It will also reflect heat from the cars to keep cars cool, and reduce the energy consumption by air-conditioning in cars.

c. Electronics

High performance, lead-free composite solders for harsh environment. In the light of increasing functional requirement and ever-stricter service requirement of automotive electronic components, a new generation of composite solders will be developed with superior performance to meet the harsh automotive environment. These will replace the tin-lead solders, extensively used in the automotive industry as interconnect materials, which pose serious environmental problems.

d. Electrical Vehicles

Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles (EVs). With EVs expected to hit Singapore’s roads as early as next year, this revolutionary concept will provide ultimate convenience to EV owners and boost the adoption of this environmentally-friendly transportation. EV owners will no longer need to drive down to specific charging stations, as every parking lot can be made into a charging station using near-field radio frequency (RF) communications.

The full list of projects is at Annex A.

Eight New Members for A*CAR Consortium

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.”

6. 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

7. 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.”

8. 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.”

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Sam Shu Hui
Corporate Communications, A*STAR
DID +65 6826 6309
HP +65 9112 8253
Email sam_shu_hui@a-star.edu.sg

Mr. Clement Ng
Corporate Communications, A*STAR
DID +65 6826 6480
HP +65 9815 4490
Email clement_ng@a-star.edu.sg


About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centre, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

For more information, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg

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Annex A

A*CAR Consortium Projects

a. Car Communications and Safety

Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar. Roads will become safer with the development of this electronic beam-steering system. Aimed at providing a 360-degree sensing system, this project will help drivers/cars to avoid collision with other vehicles and humans, enable drivers to overtake other cars and change lanes safely, as well as park the cars neatly. By developing both hardware and software for millimeter-wave Short Range Radar (SRR) and Long Range Radar (LRR) in vehicles, this project will enhance the thrill of driving while keeping drivers safe.

77GHz Radar System and Antennas Integrated Package. Lowering costs and providing better electrical performance, this project aims to develop a cost-effective radar package using Embedded Wafer Level Packaging (eWLP).

b. Precision Engineering and New Materials

High performance ternary polymer composite materials. Cars of the future can be lighter yet stronger. This new, higher strength plastic material made of nanofiller can replace glass fibers used widely in cars today. Lighter cars will mean driving down fuel consumption. Eg, with every 10% reduction in weight in cars, there would be an average savings in fuel of 6%.

Wear-resistant, heat reflective and self-cleaning material for automotive body. The new nanocomposite material, with its multi-coating layer, is not only wear- and chemical-resistant; it is also able to clean itself through photo-catalysis. It will also reflect heat from the cars to keep cars cool, and reduce the energy consumption by air-conditioning in cars.

Structural-controlled Polymer Nanocomposites. With simultaneous improvements in electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, this improved polymer composite material can be used to manufacture body panels, spoilers and bumpers etc. in cars allowing them to be painted using the standard technique of electrostatic spray coating. This will lower costs by doing away with the need to paint these parts separately from the metal parts due to the materials being non-conductive, and will also benefit the environment as current techniques require a conductive primer which contains harmful solvents.

c. Electronics

High performance, lead-free composite solders for harsh environment. In the light of increasing functional requirement and ever-stricter service requirement of automotive electronic components, a new generation of composite solders will be developed with superior performance to meet the harsh automotive environment. These will replace the tin-lead solders, extensively used in the automotive industry as interconnect materials, which pose serious environmental problems.

Gallium Nitride (GaN) Power Devices. To cater for high motor power and high power-source voltage requirements in future hybrid and electric vehicles, this project aims to develop novel power devices based on GaN, which surpass performance limits of current silicon power inverters. This involves developing new GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) with innovative structures to tackle challenges such as wide energy band gap and high on-state resistance present in conventional GaN HEMTs. GaN has been identified as a promising candidate for future inverters being able to operate in harsh environments (high temperature, high power, under radiation).

Ambient Energy Harvesting Multi-hop Wireless sensor technology. The project aims to develop a low-cost, self-powered monitoring and guidance system for open carparks. This system uses multi-hop wireless sensor networking technology that provides for energy-efficient data dissemination from individual car park lots to a base station (data collection point). The project will also look into ambient energy harvesting (from light and mechanical energy) for the sensors to be self-powered.

d. Electrical Vehicles (EVs)

Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles. With EVs expected to hit Singapore’s roads as early as next year, this revolutionary concept will provide ultimate convenience to EV owners and boost the adoption of this environmentally-friendly transportation. EV owners will no longer need to drive down to specific charging stations, as every parking lot can be made into a charging station using near-field radio frequency (RF) communications.

EV Powerpack. One of the major global challenges in adoption of EV is the high cost of its power packs. The project address the problem directly by developing affordable and reliable advanced Li-ion battery with very high energy density, longer battery lifespan, with weight and volume efficiency, for EV and HEV application. A new battery management system will also be developed to correctly adapt to the battery’s chemistry characteristics, while tackling constraints of overheating and fire risk associated with it.

Annex B

About A*STAR Capabilities for Automotive Research (A*CAR) Consortium

The A*STAR Capabilities in Automotive Research (A*CAR) Consortium was launched in September 2008 with the partnership of Bosch, Dou Yee, Infineon etc. It is an A*STAR initiative to bring together automotive OEMs, suppliers and the R&D community to work hand in hand in addressing key research areas in automotive technology.

The consortium aims to engage automotive industry with R&D community to drive innovation; carry out basic-directed and applied research work with strong industry participation in the automotive domain; promote sharing of resources; and keep abreast with the technological challenges in advanced automotive technologies.

The key research focus areas of the consortium are Car Communications and Safety, Connected Car and Infotainment, Precision Engineering and Materials, Electronics, and Electric Vehicles.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jaya Shankar, Programme Manager of A*CAR: jshankar@i2r.a-star.edu.sg.

Consortium Members (alphabetical order)

About Addvalue Technologies
Addvalue Technologies, established in Singapore since 1994, is a leading one-stop digital, wireless and broadband communications technology products innovator. It provides comprehensive satellite communication, tracking and telemetry communication solutions and digital wireless design services for customers. With its capabilities in product designs including many proprietary and patented ones, it offers value-added and cost competitive solutions to meet customers' specific application requirements.

Website: www.addvaluetech.com

About Anshan Kingpowers Advanced Materials
Chinese metal products manufacturer, specialising in metal hydride alloys used in the batteries for hybrid cars.

Website: http://www.cn-kps.com/index_as.html

About CEI Contract Manufacturing
CEI is a local enterprise providing printed circuit board and box-build assembly, equipment design and manufacturing services.

Webite: http://www.cei.com.sg/

About Dou Yee International
Dou Yee International Pte Ltd is the premier total industrial solutions provider in the Asia Pacific region, serving with distinction the semiconductor, data storage and electronics Industry since 1982. It has 32 international branch offices strategically located around the world.

Website: http://www.douyee.com.sg/

About GP Batteries International
GP Batteries is one of the world’s major suppliers of primary and rechargeable batteries. It is the largest consumer battery manufacturer in China. It supplies an extensive range of battery products to original equipment manufacturers, leading battery companies.

Website: http://www.gpbatteries.com

About Infineon Technologies
Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility and security. In the 2009 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 3.03 billion with approximately 25,650 employees worldwide. With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).

Website: http://www.infineon.com

About Infowave
Headquartered in Singapore, InfoWave is a leading infocomm technology (ICT) group providing communications engineering, consulting, and outsourcing services to the region’s leading transport, logistics, public safety, homeland security, and defense organizations. We work closely with customers to help them become highperformance businesses and governments.

Website: http://www.infowave.sg

About Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd
Bosch has been in Singapore since 1923, currently represented by Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd. Bosch is presently active in Automotive Aftermarket, Power Tools, Security Systems, Drive and Control, Packaging and Solar Energy technology in Singapore. Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd is a regional subsidiary of the Bosch Group, representing the Group's interests in Southeast Asia. Legal entities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines report to Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd. The Asia Pacific headquarters for Bosch’s Automotive Aftermarket, Security Systems, Corporate Information, Corporate Research and Advance Engineering, as well as operations for Information Technology and the Innovations Software Technology, are part of Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd.

Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.sg

About Singapore Technologies Kinetics
ST Kinetics (Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd) is the land systems and specialty vehicles arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. It delivers integrated land systems, specialty vehicles and their related through life support for defence, homeland security and commercial applications.

Website: http://www.stengg.com

About SysEng (S)
SysEng (Singapore) Pte Ltd, established in January 1994, is a specialist electric & electronic contractor specialised in factory test & automation system, freight tracking system, and remote real time monitoring systems. The systems are developed based on the most updated technologies of M2M (Machine to Machine), wireless communication and internet and intelligent sensors. SysEng is the founding member in M2M consortium, Singapore Industrial Automation Association.

Website: http://www.syseng.com.sg/

About Toyota Tsusho
Toyota Tsusho has been growing steadily together with the automotive business as the main axis. Merging with Tomen on 1 April 2006, the new Toyota Tsusho Corporation, using the know-how of a global network and as the only trading company group that deeply involved in a idea of manufacturing, aim at a new trading company group that make flexible ideas and an adequate proposal.

Website: http://www.toyota-tsusho.com

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