Lord Sainsbury, UK minister for science and innovation, recently opened Engenex 1, the first UK-German Automotive Innovation Forum for Environmentally-Aware Engineering at the UK’s DTI headquarters in London, writes Mark Wilkinson.

The event brought together English and German vehicle manufacturers as well as suppliers and members of the research and academic communities.

Over 150 one-to-one meetings were held between participants during the very successful event, covering many subjects, from ecological concerns, through to the possibility of future environmentally-aware motor racing projects. In addition to this, some of the world’s leading manufacturers and research organisations presented samples of their own work in the fields of environment, advanced materials and future power sources.

Lord Sainsbury explained that the UK aims to be a “world leader in the move to a low carbon automotive economy” – a statement that ties in well with the UK Energy White Paper’s Low Carbon Vehicles Partnership initiative.

CO2 emissions are of great concern to the UK government – it has already committed to a 20% cut in emissions against 1990 levels by 2010. As road transport currently accounts for 22% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, it is seen as a major target for improvement.

Herr Hans Henning Blomeyer-Bartenstein, minister of the German Embassy in the UK, backed Lord Sainsbury’s announcement and called for an increase in the cooperation between the two countries; not just in science and industry, but also in environmental policy.