Sony today announced the launch of the Sony Research Program, an academic awards scheme to provide North American universities funding for emerging and innovative technology research projects, and collaboration with Sony's own research division. By fostering relationships with academic institutions, Sony aims to spearhead advanced research concepts and drive towards development, further demonstrating Sony's vision of integrating creativity and innovation, through pioneering engineering.

The Sony Research Award Program comprises two submission categories: Faculty Innovation Awards and the 2016 Focus Research Awards. Each award will create new opportunities for a faculty to engage and participate in forward-thinking research, leading to the introduction of breakthrough technologies that will help influence future industries and markets.

The Faculty Innovation Awards up to USD $100,000 to institutions submitting research projects that fall within Sony's current general research interests, spanning a wide number of emerging technology categories including: Artificial Intelligence,  Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Autonomous Driving and Robotics.  This award will help Sony catalyze and expand the creation of new concepts, by building on existing research through university partnerships.

The Annual Focused Research Award awards up to USD $150,000 for one year, with the possibility of an extension, to conduct research in the areas of Sony's immediate interest.  Through close collaboration with Sony's own in-house research team, academic faculties can explore new and developing research across a number of themes including: Sensor Fusion for Automotive Application, Image-based Photo-realistic Rendering, High-accuracy Inertial Navigation System and Evolving Reinforcement Learning.

Proposals can be submitted by university Principal Investigators, as well as assistant, associate and full professors. Objectives, publication and patents will be agreed mutually between the awarding institution and Sony.  The deadline for application is 30thSeptember, 2016 and award winners will be announced beginning of February, 2017.

For more information, please visit to www.sony.com/researchaward.