UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: £19 Million Boost for Low Carbon R&D at First Automotive Council Meeting

Press Release   •   Dec 11, 2009 11:41 GMT

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson today announced a £19 million competition to support industry-led collaborative projects which focus on strengthening UK capability and developing the UK's supply networks for low and ultra low carbon vehicle projects.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Automotive Council, Lord Mandelson also confirmed that Vauxhall Chairman Bill Parfitt is to chair the Supply Chain council that will support the work of the Automotive Council.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:

“This investment is another important step for the UK towards a low carbon economy. The Government is committed to targeting areas where there is potential to build on existing capabilities and deliver global competitive advantage and economic benefit for the UK.

“This latest competition will reinforce the Automotive Council’s focus on both supply chain and technology. Both these areas will be vital if the mass production of low carbon vehicles in the UK is to become a reality.”

The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is putting £10 million into this new Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform competition and will run it in partnership with the cross-government Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The Department for Transport (DfT) is putting £9 million into the competition that will be focusing on technology development and expanding the UK supply chain.

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said;

“The UK can be a world leader in low carbon transport which is why the Government has already committed around £400 million of support to encourage development and uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

“This programme will further support our aim for ultra-low carbon vehicles to be an increasingly everyday feature of life on Britain’s roads in the next five years.

“The only sustainable option to safeguard the industry’s future and meet our environmental obligations is a transformation to low carbon technologies and this investment marks a significant step towards this goal.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:

“This is the fourth competition run by the Technology Strategy Board under its five-year Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme, which is aimed at integrating the innovation chain from the science base, through collaborative research and development to fleet level demonstration.

“The TSB’s challenge-led innovation approach sees the societal, economic and environmental challenge of the future not as threats, but rather as opportunities for innovative solutions that enhance quality of life and increase wealth.”

Notes to editors

1.      As announced yesterday in the Pre-Budget Report, an additional £30m has been set aside in the Strategic Investment Fund. In the next few weeks we will be working up options for these funds, which may include R&D, demonstrations and public procurement for low carbon fuels and vehicles. The Government’s Strategic Investment Fund is targeted action to support a range of investments across the UK economy to strengthen its capacity for innovation, job creation and growth.

2.      The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). www.innovateuk.org.

3.      The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is a cross-Whitehall team comprising officials from DfT, BIS and Department of Energy and Climate Change as well as industry secondees. With policy responsibility for the ultra-low carbon vehicles agenda and oversight of programmes with a combined budget of over £400m, OLEV aims to position the UK at the forefront of the development, demonstration, manufacture and use of ultra-low carbon vehicles. OLEV works with industry, cities, regions and other groups to bring the maximum environmental and economic benefit to the UK.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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