West of England confirms go-ahead for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles

The West of England, today, Monday 30 October, confirmed £10 million will be awarded to the University of Bath to build the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS).

Today’s funding confirmation in addition to the capital investment of £28.9 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), will enable construction of the £60 million IAAPS facility to start in the summer of 2018. IAAPS is scheduled to open in early 2020.

IAAPS will be a global centre of excellence, delivering transformational research and innovation. Located at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, it will lead the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles and attract sector-related businesses to the region, generating economic growth.

The Institute will exploit the engineering expertise of the University for the benefit of the UK’s automotive industry, stimulating over £67m in additional automotive research investment by 2025, creating an additional turnover of £800 million for the UK automotive sector and supporting nearly 1,900 new highly productive jobs.

Global companies, including McLaren, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Hofer Powertrain and HORIBA Group, as well as more local businesses such as HiETA Technologies, have been key to the success of the IAAPS concept.

Vice-President (Implementation), Professor Steve Egan CBE said: “This grant is another important milestone in turning our Institute into a reality. We are delighted to receive such significant funding from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. Our industrial partners in the automotive industry and beyond have played a key role in our progress so far and will continue to be vital to our future success.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the fantastic staff team who have worked so hard to forge partnerships and secure funding. Professor Gary Hawley, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Design, Professor Chris Brace and Dr Sam Akehurst have been at the heart of the project from the outset. Dr Jon Hunt, Director of Research & Innovation Services and Adam Hickman, Economic Development Manager, led the bid submission very ably and with great success. Many more colleagues from across the University contributed their skills, expertise and time very generously, for which my sincere thanks.

“I’m looking forward to working with colleagues here and with external partners on the next phase of the project and turning the IAAPS vision into a reality.”

Mayor of the West of England Tim Bowles said: “Agreeing this funding through the West of England Joint Committee is key to bringing a centre of global excellence for automotive technology to the heart of our region.

“IAAPS will also support the development of a much larger and more competitive automotive business cluster in the West of England, providing access to its state-of-the art facilities to start-ups and small to medium-sized companies. Supporting innovation and business growth is key to our economic success while also developing the skills base to ensure it is sustainable.”

Steve West, Interim Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "This important funding adds to that already received through industry and central government, and provides an opportunity for the region to continue to innovate and lead important engineering projects for the future. As part of this, it’s clear that IAAPS will need to engage with emerging technologies as the UK moves towards cleaner automotive and aviation engines."

The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership has committed support for the project with the allocation of £10m through the Local Growth Fund*.

For more information about IAAPS please visit

For media enquiries:

Rob Breckon
University Press Office
44 (0)1225 385798
44 (0) 7896274736