Hyundai has signed a memorandum of agreement with two top American universities to set up a “centre of excellence”. South Korea’s biggest automotive group has agreed to team up with the University of California (Berkeley) and University of California (Davis) to establish an Hyundai centre of excellence at each campus. RALLYING CALLThe signing ceremony on August 31, 2012 also saw the launch of the first collaboration project – a long-term joint research and development programme including a professional development aspect. Vice-chairman Woongchul Yang is the head of Hyundai’s R&D division: “Collaboration with top-tier partners will accelerate our technology development to go beyond the level of global premium carmakers. Based on such advanced technologies, we will develop world-class vehicles that convey Hyundai’s own philosophy as well as its distinctive emotions.”Through this Hyundai R&D Global Frontier programme, selected Hyundai engineers will join researchers at each university for six months to two years to work on vehicle dynamics and safety systems. Research projects to make Hyundai products safer, bette- handling and more fun to drive will also be conducted. The Global Frontier project launches with research projects in eight automotive field, among them ride and handling, NVH, crashworthiness, advanced vehicle safety and advanced material technologies.