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Treasury Announces Winners of Car Industry Supply Chain Competition

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has announced five winners of the Treasury’s low emission vehicle technology competition. The competition had been set up by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to encourage the motor industry to develop a stronger UK supply chain in response to figures that showed the majority of components and supplies for the industry still came from abroad.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has announced five winners of the Treasury’s low emission vehicle technology competition. The competition had been set up by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to encourage the motor industry to develop a stronger UK supply chain in response to figures that showed the majority of components and supplies for the industry still came from abroad. This drive for a healthier UK supply chain was combined with the desire to further foster low emission technology. The competition, called, “Building an automotive supply chain of the future,” rewarded five UK car industry manufacturers with funding ranging from £1.9 million to £2.7 million.
 
The five winners of the competition were Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ariel, Lotus Cars, Dearman Engine and Torotrak. The total cost of the five winning projects will be around £19 million, with the TSB funding awards covering 60% of those costs. According to the TSB, each of the winning projects shows an innovative and commercial idea with good potential for large-scale production, therefore building on the UK’s low emission vehicle supply chain. 
 
Ariel are based in Somerset and make the renowned ‘Atom’ track-day car, which has been seen on recent ‘Top Gear’ shows being driven on their test track by the Stig. Their project will see them partner with four UK technology firms in order to produce a high performance sports car with either zero or low emissions. JLR will use their funding to further its Vehicle Integrated Powertrain Energy Recovery system. It will work alongside Ford, European Thermodynamics and the University of Nottingham to develop technology that recycles motive power for reuse in powering their cars. Lotus Cars, meanwhile, will work on developing its KERS integrated flywheel system, building on its experience on the race track. 
 
Chief Executive of the TSB, Iain Gray, commented: “We want to ensure that the UK is a global leader in low carbon transport technology, by bringing businesses together to work on ground-breaking projects to reduce emissions. These developments will enable us to embed innovation further into the UK automotive sector, giving us a competitive edge in this industry.” 
 
The competition is the 10th initiative from the TSB’s “Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform” project, which brings together various funding vehicles to focus on improving the UK’s motoring innovation. The competition is also evidence of the importance the Government places on the UK’s motor industry, as it tries to rebalance the economy away from and over-dependence on financial services and build the export industry.

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