Thursday, 6 November 2014

Warwick University bolstered by £32 million

The University of Warwick, its relationship with Jaguar LandRover (JLR) and its commitment to the UK automotive industry appears to be going from strength to strength.

 A further £32 million of State funding has been declared for two new projects to research manufacturing technology for electric motors and develop cleaner internal combustion engines, during the official opening today of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) headquarters at the University of Warwick.

Housed also at the University is the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) led by chairman and founder (since 1980) Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya. JLR is owned by India’s Tata Motors. Tata Motors also has its European Technical Centre based on the University's campus.

The two new projects are led by JLR. They will be part of the projects announced earlier this year that APC said "will safeguard 2,500 jobs" in the £1bn industry and government commitment to turn low carbon propulsion technology into products developed in the UK.

According the statement from the office of UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, “The APC projects committed so far will reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to the output of 250,000 cars per year over the next decade.

The Business Secretary (a member of the Liberal Democrat Party) also announced that a further £100 million funding round has opened for businesses as well as a new programme to support small businesses.

He claimed: ‘Green technology will drive the cars of the future and UK designers and manufacturers must continue to be leading innovators in this field.  That’s why we’ve collaborated with industry to provide £1billion joint investment in the Advanced Propulsion Centre - one of the driving forces behind our automotive industrial strategy. 

“The APC will be the hub for projects as diverse as using motorsport braking systems in buses, and streamlining the production of electric motors. It is these initiatives that will enable our automotive sector to raise the bar in innovation, give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs,” he added.

Speaking at the opening of the APC Hub at the University of Warwick, chief executive Tony Pixton declared: The Advanced Propulsion Centre is now active as an enabler for low carbon propulsion development and production in the UK. Today’s news confirms we are on track to support and create more than 30,000 UK jobs over the next decade, cutting CO2 emissions and driving exports.”

“The APC is leading the development of the UK as a Propulsion Nation as we expand from the Hub with the announcement of the new London Spoke, in conjunction with Loughborough University and adjacent to the proposed Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering and Test.’

The APC is intended to help forge partnerships between those with good ideas and those who can bring them to market. The services provided by the APC enable projects which provide profitable growth and sustainable opportunities for the partners involved and contribute to the UK’s economic prosperity.

Loughborough University in London welcomed the news that the first APC Spoke will be located at its premises on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park campus.

Loughborough University has been training automotive engineers since 1919 and its research in powertrain engineering, propulsion and manufacture is recognised as world-class. Ford Motor Company, for example, has been closely associated with the university for some years.

According to vice chancellor and president of Loughborough University, Robert Allison,Powertrain and propulsion development is a key strategic area for Loughborough: indeed earlier this year we announced a five-year investment of £1.5 million in research appointments, which will help us to develop the new advanced propulsion technologies required for the move to zero emission vehicles. We are therefore exceptionally well-placed to support this very important and hugely exciting development.

Announcements of further spoke locations, funding competitions and the development of the APC team are expected in the coming months.

According to APC, the CO2 savings achieved as a result of the projects committed by the APC is calculated by government economists at 5 million tonnes over a period of 12 years. Assuming an average CO2 emission of 128.3g/km for a passenger car, averaging 13,196 km (8,200 miles) per year, the calculation equates to 1.69 tonnes of CO2/year/car. Total CO2 savings of 5 million tonnes during a 10 year period averages out at the equivalent of the impact of 246,548 vehicles per year during this time, according to the APC based on figures from both the SMMT New Car CO2 report 2014 and the Department for Transport (DfT) National Travel Survey published July 2013.

No comments: