Secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable visited the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) yesterday at the launch of a new £10m simulation technology research programme with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
The five-year collaboration, bringing together leading academics to assist on the project, will see development in the sector and give JLR access to new tools for its design processes.
It will also help JLR deliver complex vehicle programmes more quickly and reduce reliance on physical prototypes as well as impacting positively on the environment.
Both JLR and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has invested £4m into the project, with an additional £2m coming from partner universities Warwick, Leeds, Loughborough and Cambridge.
Dr Cable, who toured the Coventry facility with WMG chairman and founder Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, said Britain is already emerging as a global leader in simulation technology.
“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,” he said.
“This investment will support the government’s industrial strategy by boosting the UK’s manufacturing capability and helping to keep us globally competitive.”
Dr Cable also met with regional SMEs working with WMG’s SME team, which set up its Innovation Programme last year.
The programme is designed to assist SMEs in developing product and service design capability that responds better to customer emotion and behaviour.
It also aims to increase knowledge of the latest apps and digital tools for better managing processes and understanding of how the latest materials technology can be applied to products.
EPSRC’s chief executive professor David Delpy added: “This partnership shows how the research community can work hand in hand with industry to push boundaries in science and engineering.
“EPSRC’s role, as a sponsor of innovative research, has been to work with Jaguar Land Rover to define the longer term research needs of the industry, issue a call for proposals and facilitate robust peer review.”