Jaguar Land Rover is to more than double the number of people it employs in its advanced research and development team at a new technology, innovation and education centre at the University of Warwick.
Around 500 Jaguar Land Rover staff will be based at the National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) which aims to create a cutting edge collaborative research environment.
The campus will bring academics from leading universities together with researchers and engineers from Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain, in a single research facility.
Jaguar Land Rover is the lead partner in the project investing £50 million, along with Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) and the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).
The total construction cost is almost £100 million, with work set to begin in September 2014.
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 NAIC builds on the success Jaguar Land Rover has enjoyed as part of its long-standing relationship with WMG at the University of Warwick.
Nearly 200 Jaguar Land Rover researchers and engineers are currently based at WMG, collaborating with university experts on a number of projects.
Jaguar Land Rover expects that it will more than double the size of its advanced research team to 500 people by the time the NAIC opens in 2016.
The development of the new facility, which will complement existing product creation centres in Gaydon and Whitley, will be co-ordinated by Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology.
In this new board-level role, Dr Epple is leading Jaguar Land Rover’s innovation and advanced research initiatives and has been appointed a Honorary Fellow at WMG.
Dr Epple said: “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.”