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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

£22m venture to help small firms commercialise low carbon automotive technologies

A new £21.8m initiative aimed at boosting component manufacturing in the automotive sector has been launched. 'The Proving Factory' will be run by Tata Steel and and low-carbon vehicle engineering firm and LowCVP member, Productiv. It has been set up with £13m of Government funds matched by £9m in private investment, will provide a facility for small companies to turn prototype technologies into commercial products.

The Proving Factory will consist of two facilities: component manufacturing at the Tata Steel site at Brinsworth, Rotherham and an assembly facility in the West Midlands, providing employment and regeneration. Funded under the Government's Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, the Proving Factory's production and assembly facilities will industrialise innovation and supply -- both components and systems -- into the automotive supply chain. Tata and Productiv's partners include MIRA, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Jaguar Land Rover, Schaeffler, Unipart and the Midlands Assembly Network.

The initiative is designed to enable the manufacture of innovations to meet low volume demands by vehicle manufacturers before they are adopted into mainstream vehicle platforms.

The Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said: “Supply chains are the lifeblood of industry and vital for our drive for renewed economic growth, which is why government has committed to supporting their development as part of our Industrial Strategy."

Productiv’s Chief Executive Richard Bruges told 'The Engineer: "The Proving Factory will take new automotive technologies through the industrialisation process from prototype through to series production."

The Proving Factory’s initial customers include: Flybrid Automotive, Drive System Design, Libralato, Bladon Jets and Torotrak.

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