Unipart Rail Announces Partnership with University of Huddersfield
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
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
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.