Metro Mayor emphasises strategic importance of IAAPS facility

07 July 2022

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris paid a visit to the newly opened IAAPS facility at the Bristol & Bath Science Park last week. He was given an in-depth tour of the 11 000 sqm R&I centre by IAAPS’ leadership team, including Professor Gary Hawley, Executive Director, Professor Rob Oliver, Engineering Director, Gavin Edwards, IT & Operations Director and Tony Reid, Business Development & Enterprise Manager.

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From left: Gary Hawley, Dan Norris, Isabella Griffiths, Rob Oliver, Tony Reid and Gavin Edwards

Norris was shown around the £70 million, state-of-the-art building, which has been co-funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (£10m), as well as the University of Bath (£30m) and the UK Government’s Research England (£30m). Ahead of the official operational launch of IAAPS later this year, Norris was able to take an exclusive look inside the purpose-built powertrain cells, chassis dynamometer cells, propulsion cells and component level cells and given an overview of IAAPS’ commercial focus, capabilities and research areas as well as its expanding scope into crucial market sectors, in particular aerospace and hydrogen, both of which he highlighted as being of strategic importance to the West of England region. He was particularly interested in IAAPS’ new hydrogen plant, which is set to be operational in Spring 2023 and which will not only decarbonise the energy used on the site by reducing the whole building carbon footprint, but also support vital research and development of H2 propulsion technologies.

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Norris was notably impressed by the facility. With transport accounting for around 44% of the region’s CO2 emissions, Norris said the brand-new R&I centre will be a vital contributor to the realisation of the West of England’s decarbonisation agenda.

“If we are going to reach our ambitious net-zero targets, the transport sector must shift gear to clean up and reduce its emissions. This world-leading research centre, funded by a £10 million cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority, is a significant boost to our long-term ambitions for greener transport and shows just how much of a key player the West of England is becoming in the fight against the climate and ecological crisis we face,” he said, adding:

“IAAPS is a state-of-the-art facility and that’s hugely important because our region is one of the most vital areas in the world for aerospace, automotive and future technologies. So it’s great to see this impressive, ahead-of-its time facility and I’m buoyed by its significance and potential. We have obviously made an important investment here – now we need to deliver, and I am very excited by this prospect and am right behind IAAPS.”

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07 July 2022