Group launched to strengthen links between academia and the automotive industry

On Friday 21 June 2024, the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) marked the beginning of a new academic and industry partnership via the launch of the Academic Advisory Group (AAG) created to address automotive industry challenges.

Commenting on the inaugural meeting of the group, Stakeholder Engagement Director at the APC, Philippa Oldham said:

“In order to sustain and develop the academic engagement that we have generated over the years at the APC the AAG has been created. We are in a unique position to deliver an approach that helps to connect academic communities with industry.

The group acknowledges that the UK Research & Development (R&D) landscape is very busy, and any new initiatives must fill the gaps and add value. One of the focuses of the group is to identify research focus needed to address automotive industry challenges and provide foresight on future disruptive innovation.

The transition to a net zero automotive supply chain, in the UK, demands collaboration. To solve today’s challenges, we need to utilise tomorrow’s innovation and insight. Industry-academia collaboration benefits the sector by providing access to talent, research support, knowledge exchange and innovation.”

The academic community are a crucial part of the APC portfolio in terms of our funding programmes with 22% of the projects having academic partners. The connection between academia and the APC is important to foster due to the forward-thinking nature of academic research. The AAG is formed of academics who are leading research in areas of interest to the APC and partner organisations.

The activity of the AAG includes:

  • Future of Technology event and debate series
  • Insight papers
  • Feasibility Sprints

The APC team asked Professor Colin Garner, a Non-Executive Director of the APC and Emeritus Professor of Applied Thermodynamics, Loughborough University to Chair the first meeting; he commented:

“I am delighted that all of these leading people have committed to serve on this important advisory committee. Each member has a highly successful and highly impactful track-record, with a passion for the success of the automotive industry and the wider national academic community. I had very high expectations for the group, which were exceeded in this first meeting. It was vibrant and full of insightful discussion that I expect will guide many valuable outputs and opportunities. I have no doubt that this group will help strengthen the national partnerships between academia and industry, to bring further high quality research into the automotive sector”.

Members of the Academic Advisory Group

Professor Chris Brace, IAAPS, University of Bath

Professor Alasdair Cairns, University of Nottingham

Martin Dowson, WMG, University of Warwick

Professor Juliana Early, Queens University Belfast

Professor Zhongyun Fan, Brunel University London

Deepak Farmah, Coventry University

Paolo Favino, Department for Business and Trade (DBT)

James Gaade, The Faraday Institution

Professor Colin Garner, Non-Executive Director, APC

Dr Russ Hall, WMG, University of Warwick

Professor Derrick Holliday, DER-IC Newcastle University

Dr Charlotte Hoskin, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

Professor Felix Leach, University of Oxford

Professor George Mavros, Loughborough University

Professor Phillip Mellor, University of Bristol

Professor Greg Offer, Imperial College London

Neale Ryan, Innovate UK

Professor Rab Scott, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), University of Sheffield

Professor Alex Taylor, Imperial College London

Professor Patricia Thornley, Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute, Aston University

Professor Frances Wall, University of Exeter