Design centre set to give West Midlands automotive sector a cutting edge

The launch of the NTDC at Coventry University

The West Midlands’ automotive sector is set to gain an advantage over its competitors with the launch of Coventry University’s multi-million pound National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), industry leaders have been told.

The NTDC brings together students, designers and manufacturers to advance the concept-to-production process of class-leading design and covers all aspects of transport design.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has supported the funding of the centre via a £7m contribution through the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The new centre has been established to boost design innovation in the sector and bridge a shortfall in creative skills and to explore and refine new design concepts.

Its state-of-the-art facilities include a six-metre interactive power wall, clay-milling facilities to create three-dimensional models and a projection mapping system that casts digital images on to three-dimensional objects, the NTDC is equipped for future design solutions.

Leading regional and national manufacturers, designers and local authority leaders were all in attendance at the Coventry and Warwickshire Automotive Dinner, which was held at the NTDC.

Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP, said: “The National Transport Design Centre is a world class facility which builds on Coventry and Warwickshire’s strong innovation heritage and is further evidence of the region’s fantastic links between academia and industry.

“Not only will the NTDC play a major role in unlocking further growth potential, locally, regionally and nationally, it will be crucial in developing future talent and excellence within the automotive, manufacturing and engineering industries.”

David Wright, Coventry University’s director of strategic initiatives – responsible for the execution of the project – added: “The NTDC will have a lasting positive impact on the university, but also Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands region.

“There is a wealth of design, engineering and manufacturing expertise surrounding us in the Midlands and the NTDC brings those elements together but brings into the mix an academic research component maintaining Coventry’s leading position when it comes to transport design.”

The centre forms part of Coventry University’s Centre for Mobility Research and is now open for business.

Pictured at the launch are, from left: David Wright (Coventry University), Monica Fogarty (Warwickshire County Council), Jonathan Browning (CWLEP), Cllr George Duggins (Coventry City Council).

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