UK: Jaguar Land Rover highlights training "duty" in new NAIC campus
Jaguar Land Rover says it has a "duty" to provide relevant skills and education in the new UK National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) given there is public money involved.
The UK automaker - currently riding the crest of an extremely successful wave - is to provide GBP50m (US$80.2m) out of a total GBP100m for the NAIC with a £15.1m grant also coming from the British government's Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).
"Our duty to that public investment is in skills training and education - it is a key part of the building," said JLR head of research, Anton Harper. "The government did not contribute that for IP reasons.
"There is no IP restriction in the building, but depending on the projects we do we might find it ourselves, in which case we can keep the IP."
Construction of the NAIC building will start shortly, with around 1,000 academics, researchers, technologists and engineers working at the facility, which will feature workshops and laboratories, as well as powertrain, design and visualisation elements.
Around 200 JLR researchers and engineers are currently based at WMG, with the automaker noting by the time NAIC opens in 2016, some 500 staff will work in the advanced research team.
Harper highlighted the importance of R&D to JLR, noting: "Our total investment in production creation is GBP2.75bn, which makes us by far the biggest manufacturing investor in R&D in the UK."
The research head also noted the JLR's growth and success in China.
"We employ 26,000 people - that has grown from mid-teens a few years ago," he said. "JLR accounts for 20% of UK exports to China full stop."