Published date 6 July 2022

Metro Mayor first to see £70m research lab to decarbonise transport

Pictured at the IAAPS centre (left to right): Professor Gary Hawley (Executive Director), Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Isabella Griffiths (Marketing and Communications Manager), Professor Rob Oliver (Engineering Director and Professor of Practice), Tony Reid (Business Development and Enterprise Manager) and Gavin Edwards (Operations and IT Director).
Image credit: ©Simon Chapman 2022

Metro Mayor Dan Norris has taken a sneak peek of a new state-of-the-art engineering centre helping to decarbonise the region’s transport sector and funded by a bumper £10 million cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority.

Located in the Bristol and Bath Science Park in Emersons Green, the 13,500 sqm Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) building will offer world class expertise and the latest technology to drive the clean up and green up of the region’s automotive and aviation sectors.

The IAAPS site includes specialist laboratories for research on delivering new low emission vehicles, including electric cars; test facilities for new clean, green engines; ‘powertrains’ and the latest equipment and highly-skilled support creating 334 jobs, 80 apprenticeships, masters and doctoral students and will be run by the University of Bath.

With transport accounting for around 44% of the region’s CO2 emissions, Mr Norris says the brand-new research centre will help make high-polluting vehicles a thing of the past, vital to helping the West of England reach its ambitious net-zero by 2030 target.

Before the site becomes fully operational later in the year, the Metro Mayor was given a tour of the new facilities and even get a first look of just some of the electric cars the centre will help to produce when he met Executive Director Professor Gary Hawley and the rest of the IAAPS team. Professor Hawley also explained to the Mayor how the centre will be entirely energy sufficient when it adds a green hydrogen plant next to the building in spring 2023.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “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.”

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