£28 million funding awarded for vehicle research centre

The government has awarded £28 million in funding for a new facility which it is claimed will ‘lead the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles’.

The Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS), located at the University of Bath’s Bristol and Bath Science Park is scheduled to open in 2020 and will support research, training and skills development in automotive engineering.

An artist’s impression of the proposed IAAPS research centre

The capital investment of £28.9 million announced from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), will enable construction of the £60m IAAPS facility to start in the summer of 2018.

The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership has also committed support for the project with the allocation of £10m through the Local Growth Fund.

Backing

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell said: “I am delighted that IAAPS has received the support and backing of the government. The University of Bath has over 40 years of automotive research excellence in collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies and is ideally placed to turn this opportunity into a reality.

“I look forward to this fantastic facility opening its doors in 2020, helping to ensure the UK maintains and expands its global position within the automotive sector.”

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The UK’s world-renowned leadership in science, research and innovation is helping to solve a range of national and global challenges, and the breadth of the projects funded today means this will continue.

“Through our Industrial Strategy and £4.7 billion investment for research and development, we’re ensuring we capitalise on the great work taking place in universities across the UK and remain at the forefront of innovation.”

Graham Hoare, director of global vehicle evaluation and verification at Ford Motor Company, commented: “IAAPS will build on the strength of the University of Bath’s competence in propulsion development to bring real world examples and real world environments into the laboratory, a massive step forward in innovating propulsion systems.”