Ratan N. Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons and Cyrus P. Mistry, Chairman of Tata Sons unveiled the foundation stone of the £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre on the campus of the University of Warwick in the presence of Prof Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairma and Founder, WMG.
According to a statement issued by the company, the Centre will be the largest automotive research facility of its kind in Europe. Funded by Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, University of Warwick and the Government’s higher education funding council for England (HEFCE), the 33,000 square metre complex will provided space for 1,000 engineers, designers and academics to work together, from apprentices to senior managers.
Teaching facilities will support the education of tomorrow’s engineers with the Centre being open to students from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers to work on real world applications. The high tech research facilities will include a design and simulation space creating innovative automotive solutions, an Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory which will address the national requirement to position the UK as the leading innovator in advanced propulsion systems; the world’s most adaptable and advanced fully immersive drive-in car simulator. There will be close working on collaborative research projects with the research councils and the department of Business Innovation and Skills. Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors will also use the NAIC to take forward autonomous vehicles research through a £19 million Autodrive UK project.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre will provide a national focus and critical mass of research capability combining expertise nationally, internationally from industry, universities, SMEs and the automotive supply chain. Helping to deliver breakthrough technologies in areas such as carbon reduction, smart and connected vehicles, and advanced propulsion systems including internal combustion engines, hybrid and electric systems.
Mistry, said: “This unique resource will provide state-of-the-art engineering and technology labs that will greatly enhance the ability of academia and industry to work side by side on leading edge research to deliver exciting new innovative products and meet the widely held ambition to deliver automotive technology and products that will be smarter, lighter, and greener. The Tata group shares these objectives to achieve greater sustainability, and is delighted to support their realisation.”
Lord Bhattacharyya pointed out: “The automotive industry in the UK has seen a recent resurgence, but for the UK to remain internationally competitive we must create urgently a critical mass in research excellence. Our vision is to create the National Automotive Innovation Centre where we link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies. NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies. It will enable academic and industry teams to work together in state of the art buildings, with tailored equipment and digital solutions to create and integrate breakthrough technologies with a whole system approach crossing multiple disciplines.”
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, aslo attended the event and said: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will serve as a generator of new skills and new thinking, providing a perfect, collaborative environment in which to learn, research and develop the designs and technologies that will shape the vehicles and personal mobility solutions of the future. As well as helping Jaguar Land Rover create key technologies that will deliver new experiences for our customers; smarter, safer and more connected cars and a low-carbon future, the centre will deliver wider benefits to the UK automotive industry. The NAIC will have a significant role inspiring the engineers of tomorrow and will help develop the skills we need the UK to nurture and develop to ensure we remain globally competitive.”