Eaton European Innovation Centre (EEIC) is embarking on a joint R&D programme with the Czech Technical University in Prague.

The EEIC beat competition from around 300 other R&D proposals to receive Czech government funding for the new programme. Spanning four years, it focuses on creating an advanced valve train actuation system for greater engine energy efficiency, while also expanding Eaton’s electro-mechanical knowledge and capabilities to support future automotive innovation.

As one of only eight projects selected for government funding, the EEIC’s new programme was awarded a US$1.5m grant from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR). Eaton’s total R&D budget is US$1.2m, matching US$560,000 of government funding with its own investment of US$580,000. The Czech Technical University will receive a further US$360,000.

“As an innovator in power management solutions, we’re very proud to have won funding to pursue this ambitious project, as well as to invest in it ourselves,” said the EEIC’s Luboš Tomiška.

“Combining our industry knowhow in engine performance, efficiency and emissions with academic thinking, this programme will play a small, but important role in accelerating the global transition to a low-carbon future.”

Planned to run from November 2018 until December 2022, the new project will harness the EEIC’s background in variable valve actuation technology. As one of the largest producers of valve and valve actuation products for more than 75 years, Eaton now creates more than a million engine valves each day, supplying nearly every automaker and engine manufacturer in the world.

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By GlobalData

The project aims to improve engine energy efficiency by developing an advanced cylinder deactivation system, which allows for independent cylinder control. Additionally, an electro-mechanical actuator will be developed for the system, including all the necessary hardware, electronics and controls.

This work will significantly expand Eaton’s knowledge in the area of electro-mechanical actuator design and controls, allowing its Engine Air Management division to become a ‘full system’ supplier in the field.