The external grounds of the £150m National Automotive Innovation Centre at Warwick University were officially completed this week.
The new R&D centre, which will open in summer 2018, will become a crucial facility for developing the UK’s automotive sector including technologies like electric drive, lightweighting and driverless cars. It will be the biggest automotive R&D facility in Europe and is a joint agreement between Jaguar Land Rover, TMETC and WMG.
Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)’s Prof Lord Bhattacharyya, Jaguar Land Rover’s Prof Dr Ralf Speth and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC)’s John O’Connor, along with Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group chief executive, and Rosie Drinkwater, Warwick University, marked the milestone on Thursday October 12, 2017 with a specially engraved stone.
The 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).
Prof 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 ICE to ACE – from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to smart mobility with Autonomous, Connected and Electrified (ACE) vehicles. NAIC will provide the inspiring environment.”
“NAIC will be the beacon of smart mobility in the United Kingdom,” he added.
A total of £150m is being invested in the NAIC building and its research activities that will bring together OEMs and their supply chain companies. The government, via the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has also provided £15m of funding to support the capital project. It will create 1,000 new direct jobs, help underpin 3,000 jobs in R&D tier 1 suppliers, as well as help train the talent required to meet the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre was designed by Cullinan Studio and is being constructed by Balfour Beatty. The building will occupy 33,000m2 next to WMG’s current facilities on Warwick University campus. The four-storey building has a collaborative heart with space for partners, academics, students and the supply chain to work on a range of advanced projects. The ground floor of the building has a large public space, which will host exhibitions relevant to the technologies and concepts being developed.