National Automotive Innovation Centre hits milestone

The external grounds of the £150m National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick have been officially completed.

The National Automotive Innovation Centre is will create around 1,000 new direct jobs and help underpin 3,000 jobs more in R&D Tier 1 suppliers – image courtesy of WMG.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre is will create around 1,000 new direct jobs and help underpin 3,000 jobs more in R&D Tier 1 suppliers – image courtesy of WMG.

The new 33,000 sqm automotive innovation centre aims to become a crucial facility for developing the UK’s automotive sector including technologies like electric drive, lightweighting and driverless cards.

Due to open in summer 2018, the £150m centre will reportedly be the largest automotive R&D facility in Europe, and is the fruits of a joint agreement between Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG).

The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) will be a centre of excellence and innovation for the automotive sector, providing training and research facilities housing approximately 1,000 scientists, engineers, academics, technicians and support staff working on future automotive technology, including:

  • Electric vehicles (including energy storage and e-drives)
  • Carbon reduction (including hybrids, light weighting and composites)
  • Smart and connected vehicles (on-vehicle competence, driver assist and cyber security).

WMG’s Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, JLR’s Professor Dr Ralf Speth and TMETC’s John O’Connor, along with Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, and Rosie Drinkwater, University of Warwick, marked the milestone moment with a specially engraved stone.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya commented: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will provide a critical mass of research and development capability combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally in ways that will turn Coventry into the UK’s first ‘Smart Motor City’ and will also significantly contribute to the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy.”

Professor Dr Speth said, “NAIC will play an important role in shaping future mobility. The finest minds of academia, suppliers and OEMs will work together to define our vision of “destination zero” – zero emissions, accidents and congestions, creating new opportunities out of the forthcoming technology change from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to smart mobility with Autonomous, Connected and Electrified (ACE) vehicles.”

The government, via the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has provided £15m of funding to support the capital project. It will create around 1,000 new direct jobs, help underpin 3,000 jobs in R&D Tier 1 suppliers, and help train the talent required to meet the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.

John O’Connor added: “Situated in the heart of the UK automotive industry, the National Automotive Innovation Centre will consolidate all TMETC’s business in one location, co-locating our design and engineering teams that lead the early development of new vehicle programs.”