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