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South East Midlands connected automotive technologies and testing to get an international boost

9 October 2020

Inside an autonomous vehicle. Inside an autonomous vehicle. Image provided by Cranfield University

New measures designed to increase inward investment into the UK were announced today by the Department for International Trade (DIT). The Government’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO) programme selects investment opportunities to promote to foreign investors.

A chosen opportunity includes the design, development, testing and deployment of connected and autonomous automotive technologies.

This announcement follows a joint bid submitted by Local Enterprise Partnerships for the South East Midlands (SEMLEP), Oxfordshire, Coventry and Warwickshire and West Midlands Combined Authority. The bid highlighted the world-class research and technical testing facilities, concentration of automotive engineers and nationally significant CAV cluster all within a three-hour drive time.

The commercial Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) market is a developing sector. The global market value for CAVs is expected to reach £659 billion by 2035, with UK firms capturing £28 billion of this market. Exports of CAVs and CAV technologies from the UK are expected to reach £11.6bn by 2035.

Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said:
"The UK has so much to offer international investors across a variety of key sectors and regions. Our HPO programme looks at some of the sectors and sites across the UK where we see some of the world's greatest challenges being solved.

"Inward investment will help the UK build back better while levelling up all parts of the UK. This is just the start of the steps we are taking to increase inward investment and drive economic recovery."

The UK is forecast to lead the CAV global sales market until the end of the next decade, with the UK representing around 10% of worldwide sales, valued at up to £80bn, by 2035.

South East Midlands LEP Chief Executive, Hilary Chipping said, “The South East Midlands area has significant strengths in future of mobility technologies and connected and autonomous vehicle technical testing. By bringing all of this together with neighbouring areas, we can create a significant global cluster that can create high-value, long-term jobs and opportunities that stretch far across the country.

“Through the HPO programme, we can work with the Department for International Trade to create a compelling inward investment case and secure global status.”


Read the Government's announcement 

The recent round of successful HPO bids include:

Agri-Tech (Vertical Farming), York, North Yorkshire & Leeds

Animal Health, M3 corridor

Applications of Data & AI Analytics, Leeds

Biomanufacturing, Tees Valley

Cell & Gene Therapy, Hertfordshire

Data Driven Healthcare & Technologies, Birmingham & Solihull

Rehabilitation, Leicester & Leicestershire

Healthy Ageing, North East

Medtech Health, Wales (Newport, Cardiff & Swansea corridor)

Molecular Diagnostics & Early Detection for Healthy Ageing, Greater Manchester, Cheshire & Warrington

Precision Medicine, Glasgow, Scotland

CAV Modelling & Simulation, West & East Midlands, South East Midlands, and Oxfordshire

Compound Semiconductors, Wales

Automation and Robotics in Food Processing, Lincolnshire

Marine Autonomy, Heart of the South West, Dorset, Cornwall & IoS

Smart Aviation, Heart of the South West

Plant Based Products, North East

Heat Networks, North East & Tees Valley

Civil Nuclear Fusion & Supply Chain, Oxfordshire



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