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Toyota gives $1 million to establish Tech Development Institute
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2007) − Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc. (TEMA) has given $1 million to the University of Kentucky College of Engineering to support a new Institute of Research for Technology Development (IR4TD) in the college, pending acceptance and approval by the UK Board of Trustees.
The new institute will explore and develop new technology aimed at increasing productivity, performance and profitability in a variety of manufacturing industries. The institute will be headed by Kozo Saito, a UK engineering professor with a longstanding relationship with Toyota who has performed research to improve painting efficiency in the manufacturing process.
"This gift continues and deepens UK’s relationship with Toyota. It further builds the kind of university-industrial partnership that we at UK believe is essential to creating a foundation for 21st century prosperity in the Bluegrass State," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.
"It also demonstrates Toyota’s confidence in UK’s researchers to help that company continue to make products that have made it a worldwide leader," Todd continued.
Also present at the announcement of today’s gift was Seiichi Sudo, the president of TEMA in Toyota's North America operations.
"I’m proud to say today that the University of Kentucky-Toyota partnership is stronger than ever and we are excited about the development of the UK Institute of Research for Technology Development," Sudo said.
"It is our hope that the institute will help other industries add new technologies to meet changing needs in today’s manufacturing world," Sudo added.
The gift qualifies for matching funds from the state’s Research Challenge Trust Fund.
The IR4TD will operate labs both on campus and in the former Lexel Building at Coldstream Research Campus. The labs will focus on laser diagnostics, paint inspection, wet spray paint, computational fluid dynamics simulation, conceptual design and nanomaterial synthesis. The facility also will include a prototype testing unit for automobile surface coating and other applications.
The institute will develop products such as the Vorticone®, a system that captures excess paint from the manufacturing process and prevents it from being shed into the environment.
The new institute also will pursue new technology useful in production of carbon nanotubes, steel, aluminum, environmental pollution prevention equipment from coal-fired power plants and fire safety equipment.