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· Amy Glover

NAIC Foundation Stone Unveiled

The foundation stone for the National Automotive Innovation Centre was unveiled today at the University of Warwick.

The foundation stone for the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) designed by Cullinan Studio, was unveiled today by Mr Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons), Mr Cyrus Mistry (Chairman of Tata Group), Dr Ralf Speth (Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer), and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya (Chairman and Founder of WMG).

(left to right) Dr Ralf Speth (Jaguar Land Rover), Mr Cyrus Mistry (Tata Group), Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya (WMG) and Mr Ratan Tata (Tata Group).

The £150m building will be a centre for world-leading research on developing new automotive technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. It will create opportunities for applied academic research by researchers and industry and become a focus for research by two major automotive companies with strong links to Coventry.

Cullinan Studio has worked closely with the project stakeholders, Rider Levett Bucknall, Arup and Buro Four to create a building that will gather a complex amalgamation of activities around a collaborative hub, providing each specific activity with the environment it needs.  

The single building of over 33,000sqm across four levels will provide space for over 1,000 research and development engineers, and includes an engineering hall, design studios, engine testing areas and virtual reality suites amongst its diverse range of facilities. 

Roddy Langmuir, Project Director at Cullinan Studio said: 

“This project brings together car designers, research engineers, industrial specialists, and students to collaborate under one roof, in the knowledge that their complementary skills will spark new ideas. It has been a privilege to work with the innovators that are inspiring a resurgence in UK manufacturing. The new building has been shaped to their needs and to challenge the traditional environment of their workplace.”

The Chairman of Tata Group, Mr Cyrus Mistry, said:

“This unique resource will provide state-of-the-art engineering and technology labs that will greatly enhance the ability of academia and industry to work side by side on leading edge research to deliver exciting new innovative products and meet the widely held ambition to deliver automotive technology and products that will be smarter, lighter, and greener. The Tata group shares these objectives to achieve greater sustainability, and is delighted to support their realisation.”

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, 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 National Automotive Innovation Centre where we link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies. NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies. It will enable academic and industry teams to work together in state of the art buildings, with tailored equipment and digital solutions to create and integrate breakthrough technologies with a whole system approach crossing multiple disciplines.”

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The National Automotive Innovation Centre will serve as a generator of new skills and new thinking, providing a pefect, collaborative environment in which to learn, research and develop the designs and technologies that will shape the vehicles and personal mobility solutions of the future. As well as helping Jaguar Land Rover create key technologies that will deliver new experiences for our customers; smarter, safer and more connected cars and a low-carbon future, the centre will deliver wider benefits to the UK automotive industry. The NAIC will have a significant role inspiring the engineers of tomorrow and will help develop the skills we need the UK to nurture and develop to ensure we remain globally competitive.”

Cullinan Studio has been working with WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick since 1992. NAIC is our fifth project with this world leading research group, following the International Manufacturing Centre (2002), the International Digital Laboratory (2008), the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (2012) and the International Institute for Nanocomposite Manufacturing (2014).

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