Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled future plans for advanced research and development in the UK, which will include an education centre in Warwick.
The National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) is designed to create a large-scale collaborative research environment. It will bring academics from the UK’s leading universities together with researchers and engineers from Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain, in a single, multi-purpose, state-of-the-art research facility.
Jaguar Land Rover is the lead partner in the project investing £50m, along with Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group ) and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).
Construction of the nearly £100m NAIC is scheduled to begin in September 2014 at the University of Warwick. Around 1000 academics, researchers, technologists and engineers will work in the building, which will feature engineering workshops and laboratories, advanced powertrain facilities and the latest advanced design, visualisation and rapid prototypingtechnologies.
The development of the new facility, which will complement Jaguar Land Rover’s product creation centres in Gaydon and Whitley, will be co-ordinated by Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Research and Technology. In this new board-level role, Dr Epple is leading Jaguar Land Rover's innovation and advanced research initiatives and has been appointed an Honorary Fellow at WMG.
The development of the NAIC project is the next stage in Jaguar Land Rover’s long-term research strategy and builds on the success Jaguar Land Rover has enjoyed as part of its long-standing relationship with WMG at the University of Warwick. Nearly 200 Jaguar Land Rover researchers and engineers are currently based at WMG, collaborating with university experts on a number of projects.
Jaguar Land Rover expects that it will more than double the size of its advanced research team to 500 people by the time the NAIC opens in 2016.
The company says it will announce the details of research projects in due course, but broadly these will include long-term, multi-disciplinary work such as electrification, smart & connected cars and human machine interface.
As well as the skills and knowledge that will be developed within these research projects, NAIC will have a key role in developing the skills of school children and engineering students, who will be able to use NAIC’s laboratories and a dedicated engineering education facility.
Dr Epple hopes that the NAIC will become a centre of training and skills to encourage young people into careers in engineering and manufacturing.