Research in England into low-carbon technology for use by the automotive sector is attracting “real interest” from investors, according to Joe Greenwell, chief executive of the Automotive Investment Organisation.
Speaking at a Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders Open Forum event in the West Midlands, Greenwell told his audience: “It is fair to say that U.K. has made reasonable progress so far in its investment-attracting projects. We have seen real interest in the U.K.'s increasing capability for developing low-carbon technologies.
“The progress we are making is resonating and people want to get closer to vehicle manufacturers and their R&D and design assets.”
The forum brought together around 300 representatives from across Britain's auto industry for a day of discussions about opportunities for further growth. The need to nurture the business environment to attract investment was a key focus, while developing skills was also high on the agenda.
Jerry Hardcastle, global chief for engineer marketing at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and chair of the Automotive Council's technology group, stressed the need to invest in the people charged with realizing the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
“There is a need to embed expertise and know-how in the people involved in the APC,” said Hardcastle.
“While the project aims to bridge the gap between R&D and production, the APC itself will only facilitate this – the people themselves will actually build this bridge.”