FINDLAY, Ohio—Companies interested in learning more about the low rolling resistance technology Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. developed under a Department of Energy grant can do so through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Cooper recently disclosed that it had completed work on the three-year, government-funded research project to develop technology aimed at increasing vehicle fuel efficiency. Cooper said it exceeded the project's goals, delivering an average fuel-efficiency improvement of 5.5 percent and weight reduction ranging from 23 to 37 percent in concept tires.
When asked about who owns the technology/intellectual property that the project generated, Cooper replied it owns the technology and has the “freedom to patent, sell or license the technology in the future.”
Cooper also noted the nature of DOE-funded projects such as the one it worked on is to “encourage companies like ours, with a demonstrated capability to develop innovative technologies and fully test such technologies, to make advances in the areas of fuel efficiency.
“The idea is that the companies will make progress in this area and advances will ultimately make their way into product that is available to consumers.”
Cooper said it submitted a final report to the DOE and noted elements of that report are public and subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Cooper received $1.5 million in funding from the DOE for the project. The Findlay-based tire maker declined to say how much of its own resources it budgeted for the project.