Ford and MIT get cozy on new powertrain, fuel and energy technology research

Ford and MIT, two big players that already have an ongoing research alliance, announced a new partnership today that focuses on "new powertrain, fuel and energy technologies to deliver sustainable transportation for consumers."
Last November, MIT established the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) to do all kinds of fun stuff, like "help transform the global energy system to meet the challenges of the future." Ford's role is as MITEI's first Sustaining Member not only gives them access to new technologies but also creates two MITEI fellowships – the Ford Alliance Energy Fellows.

Accordign to MITEI's director, professor Ernest Moniz, Ford could help change the world once again with "transformational technologies for a new century." Sounds good, especially if it's undoubtedly for the better this time.

Wonder what Ford's interested in? Some of the research going on at MIT includes crowd-farming, a DIY Segway, an electric Porsche 914 and trying to answer the question, "Which comes first, the alf-fuel or the alt-fuel car?" Related press release after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

Ford Becomes Inaugural Sustaining Member of MIT Energy Initiative

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 1 – Ford Motor Company and MIT today announce a major new energy research partnership that will focus on new powertrain, fuel and energy technologies to deliver sustainable transportation for consumers.

"Energy related issues pose some of society's greatest challenges," said Sue Cischke, Ford's senior vice president – Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "We are delighted to work with MIT toward sustainable solutions."

This new energy research partnership with Ford Motor Company builds on the existing Ford-MIT Alliance. With the establishment of this partnership, Ford becomes the inaugural Sustaining Member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which was formally established in November 2006 to address global energy issues.

"Ford and MIT have a long and productive history of working together to meet critical national needs through research," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "This expansion of the Ford-MIT Alliance will pair innovators at Ford and MIT to help meet the world's energy challenges. We are excited about Ford's support for the MIT Energy Initiative and its key role as the Initiative's first Sustaining Member."

As the inaugural Sustaining Member, Ford Motor Company will have the initial seat on the MITEI Executive Committee, which is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Initiative. This five-year collaboration will support Ford's research program to develop new technologies and will include Ford's sponsorship of two named MITEI fellowships – the Ford Alliance Energy Fellows.

"Ford and MIT have a long history of innovating together," said Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. "Focusing our combined efforts on energy challenges is crucial and timely."

The partnership will also support MITEI's energy research "seed fund" to promote the development of a broad range of novel, innovative energy technologies and concepts from innovators across the Institute.

"The development of new transportation technologies is critical for meeting the world's energy needs," noted Professor Ernest Moniz, director of MITEI. "As the first mover for the automotive technologies of the 20th century, Ford Motor Company transformed the world. This research collaboration is designed to support Ford's commitment to providing similar transformational technologies for a new century."

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit


MITEI is an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the challenges of the future. The MIT Energy Initiative includes research, education, campus energy management and outreach activities, an interdisciplinary approach that covers all areas of energy supply and demand, security and environmental impact. For more information, please visit

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