Vince Cable Announces MIRA as a Core Partner in the new £21.8m Automotive Industry ‘Proving Factory’

The Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, recently announced MIRA as a core partner in an advanced £21.8 million manufacturing initiative for the automotive industry, funded by the public and private sector.

Vince Cable Announces MIRA as a Core Partner in the new £21.8m Automotive Industry ‘Proving Factory’

MIRA will provide design verification support to The Proving Factory – a collaborative project involving major companies and groups from the UK’s motor industry – which will see the industrialisation and validation of new technologies before they are supplied to vehicle manufacturers. The project will bring about component manufacturing at Tata Steel’s Brinsworth site in Rotherham and an assembly facility in the West Midlands, managed by Productiv.

Upon launching the project at one of the future The Proving Factory sites, the Secretary of State, Vince Cable said:

“Supply chains are the lifeblood of industry and vital in our drive for renewed economic growth, which is why Government has committed to supporting their development as part of our Industrial Strategy.

“The Proving Factory is a clear demonstration of how AMSCI is bringing Government and businesses together to overcome barriers in efficiency and expansion, while creating a wealth of valuable new jobs in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

The Proving Factory project is led by micro SME Productiv who will industrialise green automotive technologies and bridge the gap between technology developers and vehicle manufacturers, and Tata Steel, who will develop materials and manufacture components during the collaboration. Alongside MIRA, the other core partner in the project is MTC (part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult), who will assist in the design process for manufacture and assembly. Other companies supporting The Proving Factory project include Jaguar Land Rover, Schaeffler, Unipart, and the Midlands Assembly Network.

The innovative automotive technologies and components that the project will industrialise prior to manufacture will come from six technology developers including: Bladon Jets, Flybrid, Torotrak, Drive Systems Design and Libralato.

The Proving Factory will ultimately manufacture low volume advanced technologies for vehicle manufacturers, with a target of 1,000 to 20,000 units per annum for each of 10 to 20 products.

The project has received funding and strategic support from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Automotive Council. It has received £12.8 million in grant and loan funding from the Government through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, which has been matched with £9.1 million of private funding.

It is envisaged that The Proving Factory will create over 250 direct new jobs in assisted areas, where new employment is greatly needed, and around 1,000 more in the manufacturing and engineering supply chain.

As well as job creation, products supplied by The Proving Factory will help to reduce the UK’s trade deficit for automotive components, which stands at around £7 billion. The project will also create new intellectual property in the UK, strengthening both its knowledge and manufacturing base.