Expansion plans at Science Park for cars of the future

Published on: 12 Aug 2015

A CENTRE for  research into the cars of the future is a major feature of expansion plans for the successful Bristol & Bath Science Park at Emersons Green.
Experts at the National Composites Centre, which is part of the park, have already developed technologies that are having an impact on how cars, planes and heavy infrastructure are made.
Now they will work with academics from the University of Bath on further ideas for creating clean efficient vehicles including electric, hybrid and alternatively fuelled cars.
The plan for an innovation centre was among a set of ambitious proposals for the second phase of the science park outlined by Professor Iain Gray.
He told an audience of more than 70 business, government and university delegates that Emersons Green would play a key role in supporting the West of England’s economy by helping it capitalise on high growth new industries,  building on the area’s reputation as a  centre for science, technology and engineering.
Since opening in 2011, the science park has attracted more than 40 tenants which has helped to create 350 jobs. One of the biggest successes has been the National Composites Centre (NCC),  which brings together leading academics and industry experts.
Professor Gray, former managing director of Airbus UK and chairman of the steering committee for phase two of the park, said: “Bristol and Bath Science Park has a critical role to play as the central link between university-led research for the development of technologies, the commercialisation of ideas and the creation of new industries.”
Other proposals for phase two include:
• A second Grow on Space to provide office accommodation, workshop and laboratory space for emerging businesses.
• An industry-led centre for emerging technologies, involving the universities of Bath, Bristol and the West of England
• Further development of the NCC to establish it as an international centre of excellence.
• More bespoke plots for businesses.
Alison Starr, executive director for strategy and business at the NCC, said: “The success of the National Composites Centre has exceeded initial expectations, which can in part be attributed to its location at the Bristol and Bath Science Park.
“Here we can utilise our capability, working in collaboration with industrial partners, to facilitate the journey from an idea to commercialisation. We are able to draw on a strong network of academic expertise and bring new and exciting ideas to industrial application. The NCC is currently developing training courses to address national shortages of skilled workers in this emerging technology.”

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