Suppliers have until Aug. 29 to apply for the 2015 Automotive News PACE Awards, which recognize innovation.
Automakers need new ideas to meet rising fuel economy and safety standards. Also hot are innovations to reduce weight, connect cars to the Internet and advance automated driving.
Awards are given in three categories: products, manufacturing processes and information technology. In addition, the judges give separate partnership citations to automakers for outstanding collaboration with suppliers.
"Innovation happens in suppliers of all sizes around the globe, but only those that enter the competition have the opportunity to get global attention for their game-changing efforts," says J Ferron, director of judging for PACE.
An independent panel of judges reviews the applications and chooses winners. The reviews include site visits to applicants' offices, tech centers or plants.
Two new judges were added this year:
n Makoto Makino, a top executive for 37 years at Honda Motor Co. He worked on a vast array of projects for Honda, including spot-welding robots, riding simulators, laser welding, the Asimo robot, hybrid systems, jet aircraft and solar cells. He lives in Japan.
n Beth Fitzsimmons, founder of Information Strategists in Ann Arbor, Mich. Her company develops technical information centers, corporate information audits and online information resources.
-- Charles Child