UK – The 33,000 sq. m facility, located at the University of Warwick, will become a hub for advanced research, equipped with the latest workshops, laboratories, virtual engineering suites and powertrain capabilities. A wide range of design, visualisation and prototyping activities will take place at the centre.
The development of the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) is the next stage in Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) strategy to boost its R&D and engineering capability. The OEM’s partners in the NAIC project are: the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).
The NAIC is intended to address the shortage of skilled R&D staff in the automotive supply chain and to build a pipeline of personnel nationwide. Apprenticeships will be created in specific areas of vehicle technology. Ralf Speth, CEO at JLR, said the facility “will help this country – and Jaguar Land Rover – remain at the forefront of global innovation in manufacturing and engineering for decades to come”.
When it opens in spring 2017, the NAIC will complement JLR’s product research and development centre in Gaydon and Whitley. While the NAIC will become a hub for the OEM’s advanced research teams, Gaydon and Whitley will remain focused on engineering and product development.
The NAIC will accommodate 1,000 workers, enabling 600 of JLR’s engineers, researchers and technologists to collaborate with academics and R&D specialists from across the automotive supply chain. The OEM says that specific projects will be announced at a later date, but that long-term, multi-disciplinary challenges will centre on electrification; smart and connected cars; and the human-machine interface.