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Since the 1980s, Mazda and Hiroshima University have teamed up to conduct numerous automotive-related research projects. For example, Mazda's Skyactiv technologies, which are touted for their ability to cut down on fuel consumption, stem, at least in part, from the collaborative work between the automaker and HU. Recently, Mazda and HU inked a comprehensive agreement to expand the scope of their joint research and development.

Beginning this April, Mazda and HU will team up on projects that include vehicle research and development, advanced material technologies and next-generation energy solutions. The scope of the collaborative agreement extends beyond engineering-related projects and includes production methods, management training and marketing, as well as a slew of non-automotive undertakings.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's chief executive officer, described the ongoing collaborative work between the automaker and Hiroshima University, stating:
Mazda has conducted joint research projects with Hiroshima University for many years. Our joint research into combustion technologies is closely linked to our new Skyactiv technologies that we will begin rolling out to the market this year. Going forward, we expect to achieve further breakthroughs by leveraging the extensive resources of Hiroshima University in a range of projects that are spread over various academic disciplines.


[Source: Mazda]
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Mazda and Hiroshima University Sign Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement

Mazda Motor Corporation and Hiroshima University on February 9 signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement to expand the scope of their collaborative activities.

Mazda and Hiroshima University have conducted numerous joint research projects since the 1980s.

"In April 2005, Mazda's Technology Research Center and Hiroshima University's Graduate School of Engineering began a comprehensive joint research program for advanced vehicle technologies. Each year, this research program undertakes approximately 20 individual projects. Today's comprehensive cooperation agreement marks the joint program's expansion to include projects beyond engineering," Mazda reported.

Through the new agreement, both Mazda and Hiroshima University have committed to closer integration in their research efforts. As well as engineering projects, the agreement will cover R&D, production and planning, social science subjects such as management and marketing, and personnel exchanges and training. Specific projects will be progressively implemented from April 2011.

Major projects are expected to include:

· Advanced technologies such as new materials, next-generation energy solutions, and
medical ergonomics

· Vehicle R&D and production methods

· Social science subjects such as product planning, management and marketing

· Integration activities such as personnel exchanges and training

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's representative director, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said, "Mazda has conducted joint research projects with Hiroshima University for many years. Our joint research into combustion technologies is closely linked to our new SKYACTIV technologies that we will begin rolling out to the market this year. Going forward, we expect to achieve further breakthroughs by leveraging the extensive resources of Hiroshima University in a range of projects that are spread over various academic disciplines. We aim to use the results of our research activities to contribute broadly to society."

The president of Hiroshima University, Dr. Toshimasa Asahara, said, "Hiroshima University aims at raising internationally capable individuals and contributing to society. Therefore, this comprehensive cooperation with Mazda, a major industry player in global markets, is extremely significant. As well as expanding the scope of our existing joint research projects to every department of the university, in April, we will open the Hiroshima Innovation Center at our Kasumi Campus. It will advance our "Vehicle Medical Ergonomics Research Project" that is being conducted through the industry-academia-government consortium for all Hiroshima prefecture. As the basis of these initiatives, today's agreement will significantly strengthen our links with Mazda and enable us to make a greater social contribution."

To promote joint activities through the cooperation agreement, staff from Mazda and Hiroshima University will establish a Joint Cooperation Promotion Committee in late March. The committee will meet twice a year to share information on joint projects, draft and implement policies, manage and evaluate the progress of activities, and promote personnel exchanges between industry and academia.

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