Latest news-in-brief from around the region...

InoBat puts down roots in Warwick  

European R&D battery technology and manufacturing company InoBat has launched its first UK office at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre as part of its global expansion plan. The Slovakian start-up is at the forefront of the battery industry and designs, develops and manufactures advanced battery cells for electric vehicles. It specialises in the aviation, automotive, light commercial and bus industries. 


R&D market leader in bus battery management heads to Coventry & Warwickshire 

Alliance Transport Technologies (ATT), has attracted funding from the UK investor, BGF, and announced the creation of a new R&D centre near Coventry. Alliance has won long term service contracts to manage EV batteries with five of the largest UK national bus groups and is now the largest provider of battery asset management services in the UK. Alliance has pioneered the use of remanufacturing electronic components to allow commercial vehicle operators to decarbonise the maintenance of their fleets. 


 JLR partnership gives I-PACE batteries a second life 

Jaguar’s engineering team has been working with Pramac, to develop a zero-emission energy storage unit powered by second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries. The technology, which features lithium-ion cells from one-and-a-half second-life Jaguar I-PACE batteries, has helped Jaguar TCS Racing prepare for the 2022 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship during testing. Finding a second life for batteries following their removal from vehicles can avoid premature recycling and help create a secure supply of rate materials. Once the battery does finally come to the end of its usable life, it is 95% recyclable. 


 Aston Martin Lagonda boosted by overseas sales and sets out it’s green future 

Aston Martin Lagonda cut losses by 75% last year on the back of a boom in retail sales. The company saw its operating deficit drop from £323m in 2020 to £74.3m last year after “significant” growth in the Americas and record sales in China, driven by strong demand for Aston Martin’s DBX marque. Revenues shifted to £1.1bn – up almost 80% on 2020. Aston Martin have also revealed plans to move towards EVs, with its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle planned for 2024 and a first battery electric vehicle to follow in 2025. 


Multimillion-pound agreement made by HORIBA MIRA 

Nuneaton-based HORIBA MIRA and the wider HORIBA group have announced a partnership with Ceres Power to help aid the UK’s delivery of new fuel cell and hydrogen technology to international markets. The multimillion-pound agreement will see the development of a new 2,580 sq ft test facility at HORIBA MIRA’s headquarters. There will be additional agreements to develop the next generation of testing infrastructure to support Ceres’ core technology and system development, resulting in new and valuable high skill employment opportunities.


 €2m Euro funding for University of Warwick project 

The COMPLEXthermMA project, based at the University of Warwick School of Engineering, has secured €2m in investment after being chosen as one of the winners of the European Research Council’s latest round of Consolidator Grants. The venture develops computational tools to calculate electronic properties of materials and investigate new possibilities for better energy efficiency. Their aim is to help design the next generation of thermoelectric materials. 


MTC Looks Towards Space 

The Manufacturing Technology Centre, based at Ansty Technology Park, has teamed up with Oxfordshire firm Satellite Applications Catapult to develop the next generation of space technology, underpinned by advanced manufacturing technologies in both earth and space. The two organisations will collaborate on exploring technologies and advanced manufacturing processes, including in-space assembly, and supply chain readiness. 


 Respected video game industry experts call for homegrown investment  

Two veterans of the video games industry have called for British firms to invest more in homegrown talent and prevent the loss of further UK-based companies to foreign buyers, after a year of frenzied dealmaking in the gaming industry, including the sale of Southam based Codemasters to Electronic Arts (EA). David Braben, who founded Frontier Developments, said it was a “real shame” to see so many British firms acquired by overseas groups, adding “we don’t celebrate success in this country in the same way the US does”. Sir Ian Livingstone, who helped bring to life Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, also spoke about the urgent need for venture funding. 


LiveBuzz creates new hive in Coventry 

Award-winning company LiveBuzz – which provides high-tech software and digital services for event organisers around the globe – is moving into a new base at George House on Coventry Business Park. 


Prologis expands its West Midlands portfolio 

Construction is underway at two West Midlands logistic parks as Prologis expands its portfolio with three new units at Prologis Park Hams Hall and a further one at Prologis Park Ryton, near Coventry. All four sites are due to finish this summer and will boast a combined total of more than 800.000 sq ft as Prologis continues to invest in the local area and deliver logistics property in strategic locations for UK supply chains. 


Thriving Golden Triangle Warehouse acquired for £14.8m  

An 88,000 sq ft warehouse located in the UK's logistics ‘golden triangle’ has been purchased by The Property Income Trust for Charities (PITCH), for £14.8m. It will be managed by Mayfair Capital Investment Management, and subsequently let to logistics, ecommerce, and supply chain management specialist Woodland Global. 


 Coventry Railway Station transformation concluded  

The £82m overhaul of Coventry Railway Station is now complete, with new entrances, shops, a cycle hub and electric vehicle charging points among the new additions. There is also improved public space outside the station including, a new pedestrian boulevard and a visitor information pod, as well as additional vehicle drop off points. The regeneration of the Grade II listed station comes 60 years after it first opened in 1962. 


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