Honda has awarded a total of US$350,000 in advanced research grants to professors at seven US universities.

The grants, each worth US$50,000, were awarded at the 10th anniversary of the Honda Initiation Grant program and Technical Horizon Symposium in Mountain View, Calif.

Established in 1997, the Honda Initiation Grant program is intended to fund innovative ideas in the early stages of research that are likely to make valuable contributions to technology over a term of five to 10 years.

Over the course of the last decade, Honda has awarded 75 research grants to professors at North American universities. The focus of the funding has been the development of technologies in the areas of the environment, fundamental material science, computer science and humanoid robotics, advanced safety technology, intelligent vehicle technology and aviation.

Honda received 300 grant submissions before choosing the following seven professors and universities:

– Dr. Marcelo Dapino of The Ohio State University: for the use of smart material technology for an adaptive seat belt system– Tarek El Dokor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: for development of holographic instrument panel controls and display– Dr. Pu-Xian Gao of the University of Connecticut: for study of nano-catalysts for automotive emissions control systems– Dr. David Jacobs of the University of Maryland: for the study of enhanced facial recognition computer algorithms for humanoid robotics– Dr. Yaoyu Li of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: for the optimization of power management for plug-in hybrid vehicles when common route driving– Paul McGinn of the University of Notre Dame: for enhanced design and performance of fuel cells– Dr. Rafael Piestun of the University of Colorado: for enhanced robotic recognition techniques of 3-dimensional images

Honda has provided additional funding to some Honda Initiation Grant recipients based on promising research.

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