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Home > News > Industry News > University of Bath to build £6.....

University of Bath to build £60m automotive R&D institute

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-07-13
The University of Bath is to build a new £60m institute to develop the next generation of electric cars.

The Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) is scheduled to open in 2020 and will focus on developing ultra-low emission vehicles. 

Backed by a £29m investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the centre is intended to be a global centre of excellence in advanced propulsion systems. Construction is expected to begin in 2018. 

It is supported by major UK carmakers and automotive industry players such as McLaren, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Hofer Powertrain and HORIBA Group. 

The facility, at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, will be a home for training and skills development in automotive engineering, supporting new apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and PhD research. 

It is hoped that the facility will attract related businesses to the region and, through an expected programme of R&D valued at £67m by 2025, will create an additional turnover of as much as £800m for the UK automotive sector. 

News of the project came on the same day that a £16m government investment in another key market for electronics – 5G – was announced.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The UK’s world-renowned leadership in science, research and innovation is helping to solve a range of national and global challenges, and the breadth of the projects funded today means this will continue. 

“Through our Industrial Strategy and £4.7 billion investment for research and development, we’re ensuring we capitalise on the great work taking place in universities across the UK and remain at the forefront of innovation.” 

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Bath, said the university “has over 40 years of automotive research excellence in collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies and is ideally placed to turn this opportunity into a reality”. 

She added: “I look forward to this fantastic facility opening its doors in 2020, helping to ensure the UK maintains and expands its global position within the automotive sector.” 

Mark Mathieson, chief engineer powertrain at McLaren Automotive, said: “The window of opportunity to invest in this facility exists now.”
Graham Hoare, director of global vehicle evaluation and verification at Ford Motor Company, commented: “IAAPS will build on the strength of the University of Bath’s competence in propulsion development to bring real world examples and real world environments into the laboratory, a massive step forward in innovating propulsion systems.”