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£150m National Automotive Innovation Centre officially opens
The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), one of Europe’s largest automotive research and development facilities, has been officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales.
Situated at the University of Warwick in Coventry, advanced researchers, engineers and designers based at the centre are tackling society’s largest mobility challenges and collectively shaping the future of the global automotive industry.
Bringing together the brightest minds from industry and academia, the NAIC is a beacon for future mobility and sustainability research and development. It will create future vehicles and personal mobility solutions as well as deliver the skills required to keep the UK globally competitive.
The £150m centre is a partnership project by Jaguar Land Rover, WMG, Tata Motors and the University of Warwick, with £15m funding from the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, through Research England.
During the visit by the Prince of Wales, the partners showcased sustainable future mobility projects, including their most recent electrified and autonomous vehicles.
Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated its latest advanced research vehicle as the next stage of its Destination Zero mission: an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion – across its facilities, and through its products and services.
Prof Sir Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “At Jaguar and Land Rover, we believe in creating a better tomorrow for mobility. A future of zero emissions, zero congestion and zero accidents. We call it Destination Zero and the National Automotive Innovation Centre will make sure we get there.
“Here, academics, manufacturers and suppliers will develop a smart, safe transport infrastructure that integrates autonomous vehicles and public transport; design zero emissions vehicles powered by smart-chargers and renewable energy and discover material and digital manufacturing innovations that will eliminate waste.”
The 33,000m² centre is designed as an innovative, collaborative workspace for hundreds of academics, designers, researchers and engineers. It includes cutting-edge workshops, laboratories, virtual engineering suites and advanced powertrain facilities.
The concept for the NAIC was brought to life by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, founder of WMG, and the building it is located in is named in his honour.
The University of Warwick’s vice-chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft, said: “I warmly welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to the University of Warwick campus to officially open the National Automotive Innovation Centre. Its location underscores Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands’ leading roles in UK and international automotive innovation and research.
“We have benefited from the dedication of many individuals and organisations from across industry and academia, as well as local and national government, who have come together to help bring the vision of the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya to fruition to create a centre dedicated to the development and research of the future of mobility.”
The partners working together in NAIC are engineering the future and helping supply the next generation of engineers, designers and researchers. Through a range of education programmes at the centre, students and apprentices can work alongside experts and leaders in their fields. All three partners are developing curricula which support the emerging technologies and mobility solutions.
Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD of Tata Motors, added: “The opening of the National Automotive Innovation Centre, at the start of our 75th year, confirms Tata Motors’ commitment to developing responsible and sustainable solutions to address the global challenges of the coming decades. The team is excited by HRH The Prince of Wales’ presence at the event and his great interest and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our industry.”