Secretary of State views work to complete £150 million Centre that will help deliver UK Industrial Strategy
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, visited WMG, at the University of Warwick, on Friday 20th January 2017, taking up an invitation to see for himself the work underway to complete the new £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre on the University Campus. He also saw the work expanding WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre which provides a one-stop-shop for the development of new battery chemistries to create advanced batteries for the automotive sector.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre is a unique automotive research centre, and the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It will provide high technology automotive manufacturing research that will be of significant benefit in the delivery of the key manufacturing component of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Regius Professor of Manufacturing and the Chairman of WMG, said: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will provide a critical mass of research and development capability combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally in ways that will turn Coventry into the UK’s first Smart Motor City and will also significantly contribute to the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy.
“The Centre will be a unique resource, with an environment to foster collaboration, cohesion and cross-fertilisation of knowledge. Academic and industrial R&D teams will work together using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to develop breakthrough designs, technologies and processes. It will address the shortage of skilled R&D staff across the automotive supply chain, developing the talent required for the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.”
A total of £150 million is being invested in the National Automotive Innovation Centre building and its research activities, through a long-term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the University of Warwick, along with an expanding network of supplier companies. The Government (Higher Education Funding Council for England) has also provided £15million of funding to support the capital project. It will create 1,000 new direct jobs, help underpin 3,000 jobs in R&D tier 1 suppliers, as well as help train the talent required to meet the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.
WMG’s research in the National Automotive Innovation Centre will focus on intelligent vehicles and advanced propulsion, both of which are at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and Coventry’s re-birth at the forefront of the UK automotive sector.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark said:
“The Industrial Strategy is the next stage of our plan as we forge a new role for ourselves in the world. It presents us with the opportunity to deliver a bold, long term strategy that will drive growth in all parts of the country.
“With £15million of government money, the National Automotive Innovation Centre is a great example of industry, government and academia working together. The Industrial Strategy will build on our existing strengths and help young people develop the skills they need to do the highly-paid, highly-skilled jobs of the future.”
Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft said: “The West Midlands has never been more ready to help deliver, and benefit from, a UK Industrial Strategy. The National Automotive Innovation Centre on the University of Warwick campus is a clear demonstration of how investment in infrastructure is enhancing how our research and teaching can help transform manufacturing innovation and skills.
“Our Universities are also already working closely with the leadership being offered by the new combined authorities and metropolitan mayors so that all of us can support the UK Industrial Strategy and ensure that regions benefit from that Strategy’s delivery and successes.”