Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman, WMG, University of Warwick comments “I’m delighted to hear that the Government have announced plans to establish a centre for battery research in the UK. Not only will this support the Industrial Strategy, it will help change the perception of Britain from labs to manufacture.”
“Coventry and the sub region has a significant contribution to make in the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy, being in a strong position to lead the advancement of battery development, and vehicle electrification and autonomous vehicles. It will be at the heart of the drive to make the city a smart motor city.”
“Building on our automotive heritage, together with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, we are keen to develop and expand battery R&D, which will see the creation of these skilled jobs which will also be a trigger for other development by the private sector.
“Having a 37 year track record of working jointly with industry to innovate, and as leaders, for 15 years, in battery development, WMG are poised to continue to drive forward battery innovation and help create growth and employment in the UK.
The full announcement from the Business Secretary Greg Clarke MP can be heard here.
“As recent news headlines have highlighted, the demand for health and social care services is growing at an unprecedented rate. Demographic changes, presence of long-term conditions, technological advancements, and patient expectations are just some of the factors driving this growth.
“Addressing the increased demand for service through an efficient integrated care delivery structure, that puts the patient at the centre of the service system, is an idea that has wide support. Developing that integrated framework of care will require thoughtful and systematic approaches however, including new ways of training the healthcare workforce, particularly those who are in middle management and tasked with the essential role of overseeing healthcare operational management.
“The increased demand is reshaping the service environment, making it dynamic and subject to rapid change. To address some of the challenges that come with such changes, it will be essential to provide health sector managers with the skills and knowledge to effectively operationalize issues of quality, productivity, and cost so as to ensure that the health service system delivers dual advantages of patient benefits while remaining efficient.
Expert Comment: Prof Carsten Maple - One billion affected by Yahoo hack
"Breaches continue to take place without companies identifying the breach, or at least the full impact of the breach. The time taken between the breach occurring and notification to those whose details are breached can leave to risk of compromise of other accounts.
"We have an issue about how we authenticate ourselves to systems currently - mostly relying solely on passwords or personal information (when a password is forgotten)."
Carsten Maple, Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at WMG's Cyber Security Centre (CSC)
“We have learned of another high profile breach this morning – this time, Tesco Bank. As yet we know little of how the breach occurred, but what we do know is that a number of accounts were subjected to "online criminal activity" over the weekend, with "some cases" resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently. Of course Tesco has stated it will refund money to those affected, but failed to answer two key questions: How did the breach occur and what about the impact and associated costs for those affected?
“For the first question, it may not be necessary to provide this answer today, but it will be important. Were card machines breached? Was there a human error either within Tesco or one of its partners? These questions will be important as they will determine the follow-up actions needed by Tesco and it customers.
Today’s publication of a new report by the Groceries Code Adjudicator has found that Tesco ‘seriously breached’ a legally-binding code to protect grocery producers. Tesco opted to prioritise their own finances over the equitable treatment of their suppliers.
Tesco’s over-focus on operating margin is the potential root cause of many of the issues highlighted in the report. It demonstrates the danger of pursuing a financial metric in isolation. With UK boards (both Executive and Non-executive) dominated by leaders with financial and commercial backgrounds, it is not surprising that FTSE listed companies are biased towards financial measures and fail to understand the longer term impact on the broader supply chain. Of greater concern is the impact that such commercially biased leadership has on the culture of the whole organisation, and the broader industry. Suppliers in the broader retail sector express concern that the ‘Tesco-buyer’ phenomena is becoming increasingly prevalent and potentially undermining the supply chain.
Apprentices are secret weapon in fight for productivity argues Professor Lord Bhattacharyya
Commenting in the Sunday Times (13 September), Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, University of Warwick, says the neglect of technical education over the past decades means we lag our biggest competitors and success depends on understanding business needs.
He says "A highly skilled workforce is the key to creating virtuous circle where productivity improvement spurs increased investment which in turn drives productivity growth. The neglect of technical education over past decades means we lag our major competitors.
Unless skills training is given and funded by industry, it will be poorly targeted. We (WMG) succeed because we focus on understanding business needs, offering research and education that is both academically excellent and industrially relevant.
It is this vital role of the private sector in technical sector in technical education, which demonstrates the need for statutory apprenticeship levy, so that skill providers respond to business needs, not just government grants.
Dr Stuart Coles is an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing His main research interests are based around sustainability and the substitution of natural materials into industrial products.
Commenting on the Automobile Association (AA) joining green groups in warning that changes in energy policy will harm the climate he said:
“Incentives are needed on low-emission vehicles to keep them attractive to consumers whilst technology catches up and battery-powered cars are able to compete in terms of function with conventional vehicles."
“In his Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the nil vehicle excise duty (VED) band for clean petrol cars would be restricted in future to electric vehicles. This removes a tax break for clean petrol cars and hybrids, which will from 2017, attract the same VED as gas guzzlers."
“The Government’s policy on VED is damaging to the environment as effective low carbon options, such as plug-in hybrids, will now fall into the same tax band as many other higher emission vehicles. Whilst clean electric vehicles are available, they are not currently able to travel much farther than 100-120 miles (the maximum for the Nissan Leaf is 124 miles with perfect conditions) and are therefore not a viable option on many journeys.”
Supermarket price war 'hitting food supply firms’: It doesn’t need to be like that
There is an unfortunate inevitability that the difficulties faced by the supermarkets resulting in the increased intensity of the price war are being passed onto their suppliers. However, if the boards of the supermarkets were to truly understand the principles of good supply chain management they would realize that there was another, and better way. In the words of the 1980s band Erasure, It doesn’t need to be like that.
Government should use apprenticeship levy to support institutions that boost skills, argues Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.
Chairman of WMG also says industry must demand programmes that are “built on real business need”
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG at the University of Warwick, has called for a statutory apprenticeship levy to support technical education programmes to transform training and skills.
Speaking in a House of Lord’s debate on the most recent government budget, which includes a proposal for a statutory apprenticeship levy, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said that he strongly supports the levy but cautioned that industry must be involved with its design and that “we should be challenging Universities, colleges and business to design technical education programmes together”.
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman and Founder of WMG at the University of Warwick, explores the research challenges facing the automotive sector in his first paper for a Royal Society journal.
In “Smarter – lighter – greener: research innovations for the automotive sector” he writes about how legislation controlling vehicle emissions has brought urgency to research underpinning the industry, with a more rapid development of technologies than at any time in the past century.