Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Major automotive technology conference to take place on eve of Wales Rally GB

Ref:A0746
Published: 21 October 2013



Wales’ premiere automotive technology conference will take place in North Wales on the eve of Wales Rally GB.


Just as the World Rally Championship is the showcase for advanced motor sport technology, Autolink (Wales) 2013 will highlight future opportunities for advanced engineering products in the mainstream automotive industry.


The exhibition and conference at Venue Cymru (photo), Llandudno is on Thursday November 14, and is just hours before the final round of the WRC begins. It will bring together representatives from automotive, aerospace, electronic and software technology companies as well as academia and the motor-sport sectors.


Chaired by Professor Garel Rhys CBE, the theme for the event is focused on future powertrain and energy storage technologies, and component and system opportunities in the supply chain.


Representing the UK Automotive Council, Jerry Hardcastle (Nissan) as leader of the Technology Group, will introduce the various Technology Roadmaps and David Allen (Jaguar Land Rover), as leader of the Supply Chain Group, will look at the latest developments following the release of the Automotive Industrial Strategy and in addition will talk about the growth of JLR and the challenges and opportunities this represents.


Richard Bruges, CEO of Productiv, will detail how his company works with vehicle makers and SME technology developers, enabling them to get into low volume production through the Proving Factory, in which Productiv is the lead partner.


Toby Peters, is the CEO and Founder of the Dearman Engine company and will give a presentation on their ‘liquid air’ engine.  


A panel of carefully selected speakers will outline the latest developments in automotive engineering which reflect the Welsh Government’s stated target to nurture, assist and promote advanced internal combustion engines, energy storage, mobility and lightweight materials developments.


The panel comprises Angus Lyon, Chief Engineer Electric Division, Drayson Racing; Jonathan Williams, Director of the Centre for Automotive & Power System Engineering at University of South Wales and Michael Carrick, CEO Circuit of Wales, which has been given the go-ahead for an advanced race track incorporating facilities for advanced engineering research and development near Ebbw Vale.


Welsh Automotive Forum chief executive, Tim Williams, said that the UK Automotive Council had identified key areas, which would play a significant part in future transport and they will create new opportunities across sectors.


He said: “The speakers will be able to tell delegates what they will be looking for from future suppliers and the components industry can in-turn talk about what they can provide in these areas. It is a great opportunity for existing suppliers to meet their customers but also for new entrants to meet potential buyers for their products.”


The exhibition will also enable buyers to see examples of products being made now or in development displaying the qualities and requirements of future needs.


Many of the delegates and exhibitors work in the powertrain field and body structures which will undergo a revolution in the near future with the introduction of electric and hybrid drive technologies as well as lightweight components.


As a result the aerospace industry, businesses in electronics and software technologies as well as advanced battery systems will have opportunities to show what they can do.


“The automotive industry is on the threshold of an exciting future and it’s important we take these future steps together,” Williams added.


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