UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and HORIBA Group Chairman and CEO of HORIBA Ltd. Atsushi Horiba cut a ribbon to formally open the HIMaC2 advanced mobility research center on the UCI campus. They are flanked by (on the left) HIMaC2 Director Vojislav Stamenkovic, UCI professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; and (on the right) UCI Dean of Engineering Magnus Egerstedt and Jai Hakhu, executive corporate officer for HORIBA Ltd. Lori Brandt / UCI

The HORIBA Institute for Mobility and Connectivity2 research facility was formally dedicated in a grand opening ceremony held on the UCI campus on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Officiating the event was UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman who was joined by Atsushi Horiba, chairman and group CEO of HORIBA Ltd. and other UCI and business leaders.

The HIMaC2 facility houses researchers from multiple disciplines who are exploring new horizons in zero-emission, connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. They’re also studying the integration of energy and transportation sectors to improve the environment and people’s lives.

“I’m very pleased to announce that this innovative and world-leading research institute has been completed under a longstanding cooperative relationship between UCI and HORIBA,” said Horiba. “HIMaC2 will contribute to realizing the new energy society and be an outstanding research institute to make our future society much more sustainable.”

UCI Vice Chancellor for Research Pramod Khargonekar said, “HIMaC2 represents a collection of state-of-the-art research laboratories for conducting crucially important and highly innovative research in the future of transportation, energy, and their interconnections. It puts UCI in the forefront of this emerging field leading to breakthrough discoveries, inventions and their translation for benefits to society.”

HIMaC2, which encompasses a portion of UCI’s Engineering Gateway building, was made possible by a pledged donation of $9 million made by HORIBA to UCI in 2018. Since July 2021, HIMaC2 researchers have been active on a number of fronts, including a partnership with the California Air Resources Board on regulatory initiatives to enable market readiness for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. They were also granted $6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy for the Public Road Network Platform project to develop connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

“We are grateful to HORIBA for their philanthropic gifts to UCI and for their collaboration to advance new technologies toward a shared vision for the future of sustainable transportation and energy systems,” said Khargonekar.

The Oct. 11 grand opening event featured keynote speeches by HORIBA and UCI executives, a ribbon cutting ceremony, facility tours and a reception for more than 140 attendees.