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Vince Cable launches £10 million Jaguar Land Rover research programme

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Dr Vince Cable

The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, visited WMG today to launch a £10 million simulation technology engineering research programme and to see how WMG’s research is helping Midlands SMEs.

Jaguar Land Rover will lead the five year £10 million research programme with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and four leading UK universities including WMG at the University of Warwick. The research projects will give the UK the opportunity to take a global lead in virtual simulation technology.

This unique collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover and the country’s leading academics will develop the capability of the virtual simulation industry in the UK and will give manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover access to new, world-class simulation tools and processes. This is the first phase of a 20 year strategic project that could put the UK at the leading edge of virtual simulation globally.

The research will improve the quality and capabilities of simulation, using sights, sounds and even smells to make virtual simulation more realistic.

Giving engineers a more realistic perception of what a design might achieve, as well as giving them access to more powerful computers, will mean even more engineering can be virtual. This will help manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover deliver more complex new vehicle programmes more quickly. It will also help reduce the cost of product development by reducing the reliance on physical prototypes and have environmental benefits by significantly reducing the number of prototypes that need to be driven and tested in the real world.

Dr Vince Cable in the vehicle simulator at WMGDr Cable says: “With world-class universities and cutting edge companies like Jaguar Land Rover, the UK is well placed to be at the forefront of driving innovation and developing new technology. This investment will support the Government’s industrial strategy by boosting the UK’s manufacturing capability and helping to keep us globally competitive.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman and founder of WMG commented “We are always delighted to show the Secretary of State how R&D facilities like those at WMG are making a real and significant contribution to driving economic growth. The many research partnerships formed between universities like Warwick and companies like JLR, as well as local SMEs, show that there is a real thirst for transforming products.

The PSI project is funded by Jaguar Land Rover (£4m), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (£4m) and the partner Universities (£2m) and is split into two phases that will run over the next five years. The five projects announced today form the first phase and will make up 80 per cent of the programme.

The projects include:

  • Visualisation and virtual experience (Warwick - WMG)
  • Analysis of the vehicle as a complex system (Loughborough, Leeds)
  • Multi-physics and multi-functional simulation (Loughborough)
  • Driving simulation (Leeds)
  • High performance computing and simulation knowledge mining and abstraction (Cambridge)

Dr Vince Cable with Prof Alan Chalmers at WMG

Bob Joyce, Jaguar Land Rover Engineering Director, said: “While we already utilise a wide range of sophisticated virtual engineering tools and processes to design, engineer and test our new vehicles, we are keen to enhance the future capability of virtual simulation and tailor them for automotive product development. We want to make advances in the simulated driver and passenger experience, including more realistic imagery, sounds and even smells. These projects will help us analyse increasingly complex cars at whole vehicle, system and component levels, as well as enhancing the high performance computers that industry will use in the future to mine increasing amounts of more complex data.

Jaguar Land Rover believes the UK needs to be globally competitive in industrial innovation. Collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover and academia to develop new automotive applications will give the UK an opportunity to take a lead in virtual simulation technology.

EPSRC’s Chief Executive Professor David Delpy said: “This partnership shows how the research community can work hand in hand with industry to push boundaries in science and engineering. EPSRC’s role, as a sponsor of innovative research, has been to work with Jaguar Land Rover to define the longer term research needs of the industry, issue a call for proposals and facilitate robust peer review.

During his time at WMG Dr Cable met with local business leaders and discussed how companies in the West Midlands are leading the regional economic growth through innovative R&D. Dr Cable first met with Matthew Pitts a Research Entrepreneur who is working on a JLR sponsored project looking at the Development of HMI Concepts Using a Vehicle Simulator and User Focused approach. This showcases the current capabilities of virtual simulation.

Dr Cable then met with two local SMEs who have been working with WMG's SME Team through their Innovation Programme. Operated from the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation, this programme works with regional SMEs to develop new and innovative products. Led by Dr Mark Swift, Dr Cable met with Geoff Henderson from Digital Native Academy and David Freeman from Mayridge, who demonstrated the projects they have developed using the academic expertise and knowledge transfer of WMG.

For more information please contact:

Peter Dunn, email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk
Head of Communications, Communications Office, University House, University of Warwick,
Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860 Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk 

Lisa Barwick, WMG, University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 524721 or 07824 540845 L.Barwick@warwick.ac.uk

Nick O'Donnell, Global Corporate PR Manager, Jaguar Land Rover Corporate Communications
T: +44 (0) 7825 115951 E: nodonne2@jaguarlandrover
www.newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com

Notes for Editors:

WMG

WMG was founded at the University of Warwick by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya in 1980 to reinvigorate manufacturing. From its inception WMG’s mission has been to improve the competitiveness of organisations around the world through the application of value adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice. An academic department of the University of Warwick, the Group started with just an office, the Professor and his secretary. WMG is an international role model for how universities and business can successfully work together. Today we are one of the world’s leading research groups, with over 450 people working across five buildings on the Warwick campus plus collaborative centres in six countries. We have an annual programme of £150m which includes industrial and in-kind support.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturing business, built around two iconic British car brands, that designs, engineers and manufactures in the UK employing over 25,000 people. The business has ambitious plans for growth and will invest £2.75bn in the year to March 2014 on product creation and CAPEX.

PR JLR/EPSRC/BIS/WMG 6th June 2013