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Vince Cable launches £10 million JLR and EPSRC research programme

Picture of Business Secretary Vince Cable and Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman and founder of WMG

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited WMG today, 6 June, to launch a £10 million simulation technology engineering research programme and to see how WMG's research is helping Midlands SMEs.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will lead the five-year £10 million research programme with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and four leading UK universities including WMG at Warwick. The research projects will give the UK the opportunity to take a global lead in virtual simulation technology.

The collaboration between JLR and the country’s leading academics will develop the capability of the virtual simulation industry in the UK and will give manufacturers like JLR access to new, world-class simulation tools and processes. This is the first phase of a 20 year strategic project that could put the UK at the leading edge of virtual simulation globally.

The research will improve the quality and capabilities of simulation, using sights, sounds and even smells to make virtual simulation more realistic.

Giving engineers a more realistic perception of what a design might achieve, plus access to more powerful computers, will mean even more engineering can be virtual. This will help manufacturers deliver more complex new vehicle programmes more quickly. It will also help reduce the cost of product development by reducing reliance on physical prototypes and have environmental benefits by significantly reducing the number of prototypes that need to be driven and tested in the real world.

Dr Cable said:

"With world-class universities and cutting edge companies like Jaguar Land Rover, the UK is well placed to be at the forefront of driving innovation and developing new technology. This investment will support the Government’s industrial strategy by boosting the UK’s manufacturing capability and helping to keep us globally competitive."

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman and founder of WMG commented:

"We are always delighted to show the Secretary of State how R&D facilities like those at WMG are making a real and significant contribution to driving economic growth. The many research partnerships formed between universities like Warwick and companies like JLR, as well as local SMEs, show that there is a real thirst for transforming products."

The project is funded by Jaguar Land Rover (£4m), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (£4m) and the partner Universities (£2m) and is split into two phases that will run over the next five years. The five projects announced today form the first phase and will make up 80 per cent of the programme. The projects include:

  • Visualisation and virtual experience (Warwick - WMG)
  • Analysis of the vehicle as a complex system (Loughborough, Leeds)
  • Multi-physics and multi-functional simulation (Loughborough)
  • Driving simulation (Leeds)
  • High performance computing and simulation knowledge mining and abstraction (Cambridge)

During his time at WMG Dr Cable met with local business leaders and discussed how companies in the West Midlands are leading regional economic growth through innovative research and development (R&D).

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