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£7m funding for WMG in Robotics and Intelligent Vehicle research

National Automotive Innovation Campus to be built at the University of WarwickIt has been announced today, July 17th2013, that WMG at the University of Warwick will receive over £7m funding to research ‘The Smart and Connected Vehicle’.

Through the National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC), robotics and autonomous systems research will lead the development and implementation of intelligent vehicles.

Co-funded by EPSRC (over £3m) and industry (over £3.5m), the research will focus on the long-term multi-disciplinary research challenges identified by the industry.

A multi-sensory virtual real-world environment will be built in NAIC which will enable intelligent vehicle systems to be developed to learn driver behaviour.

The systems will be optimised to enable drivers to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, assist monotonous tasks and react to hazards, increasing vehicle safety. The research will be delivered with leading academics and industry groups.

The new facility will support the extensive and world-leading research capability at WMG, and in the network of international universities collaborating with industry through NAIC.

The unique research facility will support ground-breaking research, enabling the UK to take a leading role in whole system evaluation, smart and connected vehicles. It will strengthen the UK research base, providing a focus for a critical mass of expertise, integrated from a range of disciplines, with a clear pathway to impact in the automotive sector and beyond.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman and founder of WMG said “This is a wonderful development for NAIC to be leading the development of ‘The Smarter and Connected Vehicle’. We will be working closely with industry to develop future products that will be crucial for these companies and the industry as a whole and which will bring significant benefits for the environment and driver safety.”

 Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: "For Britain to get ahead in the global race we have to back emerging technologies and ensure our universities have the latest equipment. This capital investment will help scientists make new discoveries and take their research through to commercial success. It will drive growth and support the Government’s industrial strategy."


Notes to Editors

Lisa Barwick, WMG Communications Manager is available on 024 76 524721 or 07824 540845

The £100m National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC), which will begin construction in 2014, will be a unique R&D resource for the UK automotive industry. It will be an iconic building offering an environment that will foster collaboration, cohesion and cross-fertilisation of knowledge. This follows the same model they have in Germany with relationships like Aachen and BMW and Stuttgart and Mercedes. NAIC will provide a national focus for research capability by combining the expertise nationally and internationally from industry, universities, supply chain companies and SMEs. It will enable teams from academia and industry to work together with tailored equipment to create and integrate breakthrough technologies with a whole system approach crossing multiple disciplines. It will also address the shortage of skilled R&D staff in the automotive supply chain, creating a pipeline of people into industry.

 The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.