SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — Johnson Controls Inc. has announced plans to add an energy storage laboratory and testing center at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

The Milwaukee-based company, which has significant automotive and energy storage operations in Michigan, said the lab will help the its ongoing efforts to help automakers meet fuel economy and emissions standards, help consumers save money at the pump, and deliver improved vehicle performance and functionality.

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Johnson Controls said it would donate and install advanced testing equipment and other technical resources in the effort. No details were immediately available on where the lab would be located on campus or when it might open.

“We believe strongly in building the next generation of technical leaders through academic partnerships,” said MaryAnn Wright, vice president of engineering and product development for Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “Our partnership with LTU is an example of our commitment to developing new battery technologies. It is also an investment in both the future of academic research in energy management as well as the development of the talent pipeline for our industry.”

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Wright, who has long experience in hybrid and electric vehicle systems, joined LTU’s board of trustees in 2013.

The partnership with Johnson Controls is part of a broader effort by Lawrence Tech to proactively respond to the needs of its corporate partners with innovative academic and research programs.

“We are helping corporate partners develop market-based solutions while providing highly talented students with real-world experiences and skills that positively impact the companies they work for,” LTU president Virinder Moudgil said in a statement. “Strong industry relationships have long been the foundation of LTU’s theory and practice model of education. Our students will benefit from the real-world experiences and opportunities provided by Johnson Controls that will prepare them for great leadership positions in energy storage technology and management.”

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