Ford Motor Company and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced an energy research partnership that will focus on new powertrain, fuel and energy technologies.

"Energy related issues pose some of society's greatest challenges," said the automaker's head of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, Sue Cischke. "We are delighted to work with MIT toward sustainable solutions."

The new partnership builds on an existing Ford-MIT Alliance. With the establishment of this partnership, the automaker 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.

As the inaugural sustaining member, Ford 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 the car maker's research programme to develop new technologies and will include its sponsorship of two named MITEI fellowships - the Ford Alliance Energy Fellows.

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.