Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors has confirmed its long-term commitment to R&D in the UK by investing £30m in a research centre.
The £100m National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) at the University of Warwick will receive about £30m funding from Tata Motors, alongside support from its partners, Jaguar Land Rover, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England.
The Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) has been operating out of the university since 2005 and will now move to the campus, which is designed to be centre of automotive R&D excellence in the UK specialising in developing novel technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions.
Dr Tim Leverton, head of Advanced Engineering and Product Development for Tata Motors, said: “This investment constitutes the next step in Tata Motors’ strategy to develop world class products for its global customers and TMETC plays a significant role in that plan.
“Our teams in India and in the UK complement each other in academic excellence and product experience, and we see the UK as a global hub for innovative and low carbon automotive technologies, which will benefit our customers.”
Construction of the NAIC is scheduled to begin in September 2014 and the campus will feature state of the art engineering workshops, powertrain and vehicle engineering laboratories, and the latest advanced design, visualisation and rapid prototyping technologies.
Nick Fell, director and head of TMETC, said: “We are delighted by Tata Motors’ decision to invest in this superb facility, and by the trust in TMETC and UK capability that it represents. We greatly look forward to working with our collaborative partners and the Tata Motors teams from this world class base.”
TMETC is expected to expand to a workforce of around 350 staff covering all areas of automotive design and R&D.
Fell added: “The decision by Tata Motors to invest in the NAIC has galvanised our teams and will be repaid by our contribution to Tata’s future products, as well as to the automotive R&D scene in the UK.
“TMETC has become a well-established long term employer for automotive talent in the UK and the NAIC will reinforce its commitment to developing young engineers and apprentices through its recruitment and training programme, closely linked to the WMG Academy for Young Engineers.”
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG chairman, said: “The automotive industry in the UK has seen a recent resurgence, but for the UK to remain internationally competitive we must create urgently a critical mass in research excellence.
“Our vision is to create the NAIC where we link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies. The NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies.”