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SMMT launch 2013 Award for Automotive Innovation

By Kyle Linsay
Monday, June 10, 2013 - 13:53

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SEARCH: SMMT seek next big innovation

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are urging automotive companies and individuals to submit their 2013 Award for Automotive Innovation entries.

The award seeks out the freshest ideas, most inventive concepts and most pioneering products, in attempts to discover the UK’s next big automotive innovation.

Potential to leave a lasting impact on the automotive industry and provide tangible benefits to motorists are the two key criteria by which the award is decided.

SMMT said the award, sponsored by GKN Driveline and supported by The Times, recognises innovations from a wide variety of disciplines across the automotive sector.

It acknowledges the time, effort and investment that businesses in the UK motor industry dedicate to research and development, and innovation.

Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT, said: “The UK is home to some of history’s most renowned automotive innovators, but today we are calling for designers and engineers that are working on the technology of tomorrow.

“UK automotive is working hard to stay at the forefront of our global industry and SMMT’s Award for Automotive Innovation will draw attention to some of the best ideas that could benefit the sector for years to come.”

The automotive sector is the UK’s third-largest for research and development investment, with domestic companies spending more than £1.5billion every year on such projects.

Steel brake discs and reflective road lighting are two areas in which UK engineering has played a major role in shaping the global automotive industry.

The award will be judged by SMMT and a panel of senior industry experts.

Industry experts include: Dave Salt, Chief Engineer of GKN Driveline; Robert Lea, Industrial Editor of The Times; and John Laughlin, Programme Manager (Low Carbon Vehicles) of the Technology Strategy Board.

Last year’s award was scooped by Optare, for its Optare Versa EV – the UK’s first fully-operational, full-sized, battery-powered electric bus.

Glenn Saint, Deputy CEO of Optare, said: “Winning the SMMT Innovation Award was a major boost to our efforts to make electric buses an integral part of the UK transport infrastructure.

“It significantly raised awareness among key audiences leading to an increase in enquiries, from both domestic and international markets, and has confirmed our status as the UK’s leader in the field of low carbon buses.”

The Award for Automotive Innovation 2013 is free to enter, with the winner announced at SMMT’s 97th Annual Dinner on November 26, at Grosvenor House, Park Lane.

More than 1,000 senior industry delegates will be in attendance.

For more information about the award, click here; click here for more information about the 2013 Annual Dinner.

Image courtesy of Ben Sutherland, with thanks.

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