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Jaguar Land Rover Plans R&D In UK

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Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has unveiled its advanced research and development (R&D) plans in the UK. As per the plan, it will focus on a new cutting-edge technology and innovation and open an education centre in Warwick.

The automaker is the lead partner in building National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) project investing £50 million, along with Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).(NAIC) has been 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 JLR.

Nearly 200 JLR researchers and engineers are currently based in WMG, collaborating with university experts on a number of projects. JLR expects to more than double the size of its advanced research team to 500 people by the time the NAIC opens in 2016.

Construction of the nearly £100-million NAIC is scheduled to begin in September 2014 at the University of Warwick. Around 1,000 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 prototyping technologies.

The development of the new facility, which will complement JLR’s product creation centres in Gaydon and Whitley, will be coordinated by Dr Wolfgang Epple, JLR’s director of research and technology. In this new board-level role, Epple is leading JLR's innovation and advanced research initiatives and has been appointed a Honorary Fellow at WMG.

Dr Epple says, “Investing in collaboration, innovation, research and education is vital if we want to be on a par with our international competitors. Our future sales success, the success of our global business – and the UK economy – lies in the engineering and innovation that will take place in NAIC."

“Creating a new national focus for automotive research and consolidating Jaguar Land Rover’s growing research and advanced engineering operations in one centre offers us huge potential. With a critical mass of research capability we will put the UK at the very centre of the global automotive industry - with the NAIC at its hub,” he adds.

Antony Harper, JLR’s Head of Research, says, “We will announce the details of the specific research projects on which our NAIC research team will collaborate in due course, but these will be long-term, multi-disciplinary challenges – such as electrification, smart & connected cars and Human Machine Interface – which will help us create some key new technologies that will deliver a low-carbon future. These collaborative research programmes will harness the best of UK engineering innovation, and with the extra capability the NAIC gives us, you can expect the number and range of new, fresh innovative ideas that we patent, and then take to production in the future, will increase significantly.”