18 February, 2020
HRH The Prince of Wales today officially opened one of Europe’s largest automotive research and development facilities, the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), 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 from the heart of the United Kingdom.
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 NAIC is at the centre of the Midlands ecosystem, which is a magnet for economic growth and delivering a Destination Zero future.
During today’s visit, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors and WMG 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.
Speaking at today’s opening event, 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.”
“We are honoured that HRH The Prince of Wales has joined us today to open the National Automotive Innovation Centre.”
A collaborative hub
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, 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. At NAIC, students and apprentices work alongside experts and leaders in their fields. Through a range of education programmes, apprenticeships and lifelong learning, all three partners are developing curricula which support the emerging technologies and mobility solutions.
Professor David Mullins, Interim Head of WMG, commented: “The late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision was for future generations of designers, researchers and engineers to be inspired to innovate through collaborative research projects with manufacturers, suppliers and academia at the National Automotive Innovation Centre.”
“We are committed to delivering the skills required to keep the UK globally competitive and are developing curriculums, such as our digital degree apprentice programme, which enables emerging technology and mobility solutions.”
Sustainable future mobility
Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors and WMG are developing next generation future electrified and autonomous vehicles at the NAIC.
Today, they exhibited some of their latest projects including: Warwick’s Formula Student entry and the Warwick Moto concept which is led by WMG; Tata Motor’s latest affordable Nexon EV and autonomous Tata Hexa alongside Jaguar Land Rover’s latest prototype self-driving Jaguar I-PACE and ADAS Land Rover Discovery.
Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD of Tata Motors Ltd., said, “The National Automotive Innovation Centre brings together our UK-based engineering and design experts to one setting, providing greater synergy on ground-breaking design and technologies with a focus in Connected, Electric, Shared and Safe, that will help shape future mobility solutions in India.
The Centre has been carefully designed to support the future of automotive advancements. Its virtual engineering suite, powertrain facilities, laboratories and cutting-edge design workshop provide an inspiring, productive and collaborative environment for the future.
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.”
The building and all its facilities were designed from first principles to embrace sustainability and wellbeing.
NAIC’s construction has been recognised with the highest BREEAM Excellent rating and the building includes a rooftop photovoltaic array and regenerative electrical heating. Underneath one of the world’s largest glulam timber roofs, offices are flooded with natural light, and are arranged around a daylight filled atrium.
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.
David Sweeney, from Research England said: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will create breakthrough technologies with a whole system approach that crosses multiple disciplines. This model of interdisciplinary working exemplifies how our innovative higher education sector works with industry to foster collaborative and highly effective relationships, in regional centres of research excellence such as the West Midlands.”
“Research England is delighted to have the opportunity to support the NAIC via the Research Partnership Investment Fund.”