May 17, 2007 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, and the Institute of Metal Research (IMR)- Chinese Academy of Sciences, located in Shenyang, China, have entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement to collaborate in the development and application of materials science and engineering to industrial problems. The agreement was effective April 16.
SwRI has been active in China since 1984. In July 2003, SwRI opened an office in Beijing to promote and coordinate the expanding automotive business of SwRI in China and throughout Asia. In 2005, SwRI established a joint venture with the state-owned China Automotive Technology and Research Center to form the Tianjin SwARC Automotive Research Laboratory Co. Ltd.
The new alliance, called SwIMR, will allow SwRI to bring its expertise in materials engineering to other markets by collaborating with IMR, which also has an established expertise in materials research. The combined capabilities will allow SwIMR to pursue contracts within both China and the U.S.
"SwRI has been steadily expanding its international business in a wide range of research areas, and this agreement is another step toward using international collaboration to advance technology," said Executive Vice President Walt Downing.
"We look forward to the opportunity to work with IMR," said Dr. Ben Thacker, director of SwRI's Materials Engineering Department. "Our combined expertise offers a strong technical program for industry."
Southwest Research Institute is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the U.S. SwRI has a staff of more than 3,000 and annual revenues in excess of $455 million. IMR has more than 800 employees, most of them research scientists with high degrees. It also has more than 500 graduate students.
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