Unipart Rail has partnered with the University of Huddersfield as part of a £20m project to support the new Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR). The CIR will be based within the internationally-renowned Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at the University, and will bring world class product design and ground breaking research projects into Unipart Rail.
The University has recently received confirmation from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for funding of £4 million. The overall investment in the project is over £20 million.
The project builds on the Institute’s strategic partnership with the Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB), with the support of technology partners, Unipart Rail, Omnicom Engineering and the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering (NSARE).
This new facility will provide industry and academia with training, research and expert services to support innovation and also to develop and improve critical engineering interfaces in the rail industry.
George Tillier, Managing Director of Unipart Rail’s Traction & Rolling Stock business commented “Unipart Rail is delighted to be part of this innovative partnership between the academic world and industry; only by accessing the talent and research focus that this opportunity gives us, can we continue to grow our business into an internationally renowned provider of railway engineering solutions right here in Doncaster.”
John Clayton, Director, Unipart Group added “We are extremely proud to be associated with the new Centre for Innovation in Rail. This initiative will bring significant benefits to the region and create opportunities to develop and introduce new products and technologies to the global rail market.”
The Institute of Railway Research’s Director, Professor Simon Iwnicki expects the CIR to capitalise on the best of the Institute’s research output and embed this within the UK railway industry.
“The research and training carried out by the Centre will contribute to the strategic needs of the railway industry as outlined in the Rail Technical Strategy (which supports national policy for the development of the railway over the next 30 years) and will increase the level of innovation in the industry and reduce the barriers to knowledge transfer and reduce industry costs,” said Professor Iwnicki.
This is the second collaborative venture between Unipart and the university sector to be announced recently. Last year Unipart Group announced the launch of a new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering – a joint £32m project between Coventry University and Unipart Manufacturing Group – which will enable the development of the next generation of highly skilled, specialist engineers and operational leaders needed for the UK’s high-value manufacturing sector whilst delivering much needed research into low carbon R&D programmes.