Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville signed a new Master Research Agreement to extend their research partnership through 2028. Extending the agreement allows research to continue at the Volkswagen Innovation Hub in Knoxville, bringing innovations to advance sustainability and efficiencies in automotive products.
Over the past five years, the collaboration has produced 27 active research projects, 15 publications, and multiple pending patents. Researchers at the Innovation Hub work as full-time employees of VWGoA, but share time with UTK to work on their PhD dissertations. Signing this new Master Research Agreement allows that research to advance and expand, and continues this unique opportunity for PhD candidates.
“Partnering with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for research has accelerated Volkswagen Group’s ability to bring practical innovations to our products,” said Chuhee Lee, vice president of mobility design and technology at Volkswagen Group Innovation Center California. “With this extension, we’ll be able to continue this invaluable research and bring more materials and power electronics solutions for more sustainable mobility. UTK has been an invaluable partner, bringing incredible research talent with an interest in the automotive industry and sustainability.”
In 2018, Volkswagen Group of America and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville signed the first five-year Master Research Agreement, with the Volkswagen Innovation Hub in Knoxville opening two years later in January 2020. VWGoA and UTK have since expanded the project to include 10- new joint research projects and additional PhD fellowship and internship positions.
“We want Tennessee, which is already a major manufacturer of automobiles, to be a destination for mobility research and innovation. That’s why we are so proud to have a partner like Volkswagen Group, which is a global leader in the automotive industry,” said Deb Crawford, UT’s vice chancellor for research, innovation, and economic development. “Together, we leverage the real-world experience of industry and the ingenuity of UT faculty and students to solve critical problems and create the vehicles of the future.”
“The partnership with Volkswagen is already one of the most fruitful industry relationships in university history, and as the partnership continues to deepen, we expect to see even more innovations making their way to market,” said UT Research Foundation President Maha Krishnamurthy, who is responsible for the intellectual property management.
SOURCE: Volkswagen Group of America