Tata Steel-backed Proving Factory shortlisted for automotive innovation award
The Proving Factory consortium, of which Tata Steel is a leading member, has been shortlisted for the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual Award for Automotive Innovation.
The award recognises new and existing products, technologies or innovations, developed within the UK, which demonstrate exemplary research and development and have the potential to transform the automotive industry.
The Proving Factory, a £22 million manufacturing initiative in the UK’s South Yorkshire and Midlands regions, will help develop groundbreaking green technologies to power the cars of the future. It will take low-carbon vehicle technologies designed by small high-tech British companies and university research departments and prove their viability in production to increase their chances of being adopted by major motor manufacturers.
To be considered for the SMMT’s automotive innovation award, organisations have to demonstrate what makes the initiative unique and innovative, the benefits it is delivering to the industry and wider society, evidence of commercial viability and information on how it might fare in the current global automotive climate.
Richard Jones, Tata Steel’s Proving Factory project manager, said: “Our work in The Proving Factory is already beginning to show how Tata Steel, Productiv and our other partners can be a driving force in bringing low-carbon vehicle technologies to market. To have reached the shortlist of these awards is something the whole team can be proud of, and we look forward to the next round.”
Richard Bruges, Chief Executive of Productiv, the other Proving Factor consortium member cited in the award nomination, said: “The Proving Factory concept is a vital initiative in filling a gap in the automotive industry. This has already been recognised by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in the industrial strategy, and we are delighted this has now been recognised at industry level too, through these prestigious awards.”
The winner will be announced at the SMMT Annual Dinner on November 26.
About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy & power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.
About the Proving Factory
The Proving Factory is a collaborative project to industrialise innovation and supply advanced components into the automotive supply chain. It is led by Productiv and Tata Steel and its partners include MIRA, the HVM Catapult, Jaguar Land Rover, Schaeffler and the Midlands Assembly Network. It involves technology developers Bladon Jets, Flybrid, Torotrak, Drive Systems Design, Libralato and Magnomatics.
This project is currently focused on assessing the needs of a range of advanced propulsion technologies and designing flexible manufacturing and assembly processes that will deliver cost-effective products to automotive quality standards. The design phase of the project will lead to a business case to be signed off in Q4 2013, enabling the manufacturing and assembly facilities to be ready for production in 2015. Pre-production for development and product validation will start in 2014.