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Loughborough University in London to host Advanced Propulsion Centre’s first Spoke

Loughborough University in London is to host the first ‘Spoke’ of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Dr Vince Cable MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced today (6 November).

The APC was established to position the UK as the global leader for the production and development of low carbon propulsion technology, forging partnerships between those who have good ideas and those who can bring them to market.

It operates on a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model. The APC ‘Hub’ is located at the University of Warwick, with ‘Spokes’ as centres of excellence throughout the UK to realise the concept of a Propulsion Nation – a coordinated national resource of facilities and expertise.

The London Spoke will be a centre of excellence in digital engineering and test. Its vision was created by an impressive consortium comprising some of the automotive industry’s biggest names, such as Ford, McLaren, Cosworth, Ricardo and AVL, together with the High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI), an independent research organisation, and world-leaders in 3D design software, Autodesk. The academic partners, led by Loughborough University and including University College London, Bath and Nottingham universities, will bring internationally-renowned research capability in low carbon technologies and deliver the talent pipeline for propulsion and powertrain development.

The Spoke’s location at Loughborough University in London, which is part of the Here East development on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will enhance the APC’s visibility, reach and effectiveness among key decision makers and investors, strengthening its sphere of influence in order to attract to the UK further innovative businesses aligned to the automotive sector. The London Spoke will also be a base in the capital for the APC team.

Of today’s announcement, Professor Robert Allison, Vice Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, said: “We are delighted that Loughborough University in London is to host this first, and highly important, Spoke of the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

“The Spoke’s location in the Here East development of one of the most dynamic and fast developing regions of the London will also ensure the APC has the visibility and connectivity it requires to achieve its ambitions.

“Loughborough University has been training automotive engineers since 1919 and our research in powertrain engineering, propulsion and manufacture is recognised as world-class. Powertrain and propulsion development is a key strategic area for Loughborough: indeed earlier this year we announced a five-year investment of £1.5 million in research appointments, which will help us to develop the new advanced propulsion technologies required for the move to zero emission vehicles. We are therefore exceptionally well-placed to support this very important and hugely exciting development.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This new facility at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be at the heart of exciting and innovative developments linking the UK’s successful automotive industry with London’s thriving digital community. The capital has an incredible eco-system for businesses large and small and a burgeoning reputation as a global science and technology hub, which can be put to service creating jobs not just in London but throughout the country.”

Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, said: “We are delighted that some of the world’s leading automotive companies will be coming to Here East as part of Loughborough University in London. Here East’s unrivalled infrastructure, iconic location and unique vision of a home for makers makes it the perfect place for such companies to pursue technological innovation and develop the next generation of low carbon vehicle technology.”

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The Lower Lea Valley was once the industrial engine driving London’s economy. What better way to herald Stratford’s economic resurgence than for the first Spoke of this cutting edge technology to be based at Here East on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park? The APC will be the pathfinder for many truly exciting and innovative projects coming to the Park, creating jobs and developing some of the most sought after skills in the world.”

The APC was formed from a commitment between the Government and automotive industry through the Automotive Council, and will see £1 billion of Government and industry investment over the next ten years. The Business Secretary today announced £32 million of new investments in the latest round of advanced propulsion funding as part of the APC. So far in 2014, the APC has committed to projects which are equivalent in carbon reduction terms to the removal of 246,000 cars per year off the road.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 197

About the London Spoke

The London Spoke is a collaborative partnership of the following organisations:

  • Loughborough University in London (lead)
  • Autodesk
  • AVL
  • Case New Holland
  • Click Media Studios
  • Cosworth
  • Ford
  • Here East
  • High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI)
  • JW Froehlich
  • Majenta Solutions
  • McLaren Automotive
  • National Instruments
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Ricardo
  • University College London (UCL) Engineering
  • University of Bath (Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre)
  • University of Nottingham
About the Advanced Propulsion Centre

The Advanced Propulsion Centre was formed in 2013 from a commitment between the government and automotive industry through the Automotive Council to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production. It is a central pillar of the Industrial Strategy created by the Automotive Council.  

The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Limited (APC) is a private limited company, an industry wide collaboration of innovators and producers of low carbon propulsion systems. It facilitates partnerships between those who have good ideas and those who can bring them to market. The services provided by the APC enable projects which provide profitable growth and sustainable opportunities for the partners involved. Each programme enhances the UK’s position as a Propulsion Nation and contributes to the country’s economic prosperity.

The government and industry have each committed to provide £500 million to the APC during its 10 year programme. The activity in this £1 billion project will be delivered through a small team working across the UK from a central Hub located at the University of Warwick and regional Spoke locations.

The first round of investments by the APC was announced in April 2014 and covered four project consortia:

  • Ford and their partners will receive a £13.1 million grant for their £100 million programme to upgrade the award winning EcoBoost engine. This will accelerate the introduction of advanced low carbon technologies to deliver improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
  • GKN Land Systems and their partners will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to apply motorsport energy recovery technology for use in buses. The Gyrodrive system is designed to save the braking energy of a bus as it slows for a stop and use it to accelerate the bus back up to speed. By avoiding wasting the energy every time a bus stops the system is projected to deliver fuel savings in the order of 25%.
  • Cummins and their partners will receive a £4.9 million grant for a £9.9 million project to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions from bus engines through the development of new stop-start diesel engine technology. This will improve fuel consumption by 15 to 20%.
  • JCB and their partner Flybrid will receive a £3.3 million grant as part of a £7.3 million project to apply Formula 1 technology for use in diggers. This will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions resulting in a substantially reduced carbon footprint for construction projects using this machinery. On average, the carbon emissions of a single 20 tonne excavator will be reduced by an estimated 16 tonnes per year.


About Loughborough University in London

Loughborough University in London is a new postgraduate campus, which will build on Loughborough University’s internationally-renowned high-quality education, research and innovation.

It will offer a collaborative, innovative and inspiring learning environment, bringing together world-leading scholars, dynamic organisations and creative individuals with the emerging talent and leaders of tomorrow. Organisations from London, the UK and around the world will work in close partnership with world-class researchers and pioneering innovators, allowing them to engage with and benefit from new knowledge and the very latest understanding to meet economic, commercial and social challenges.

Loughborough University in London is part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Here East development, which is bringing together education, business and technology to drive forward creativity and entrepreneurship.

(W:, Twitter: @lborolondon, Facebook:

About Here East

Here East is London’s home for making, located at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. It is a dedicated place for individuals and companies who embrace and pioneer technology, share expertise and are creating the products of tomorrow.

It is a unique campus where creative businesses growing in scale join businesses of scale growing in creativity. It is designed as a place for startup, entrepreneurial businesses to co-exist and collaborate with global, established businesses and support genuine product innovation.

Here East provides over one million square feet of dedicated and versatile spaces for creative and digital companies. It combines unparalleled infrastructure with a unique environment to facilitate collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Here East includes shared workspaces and public areas to foster a tight community, alongside a shared yard with space for discussion and events, a landscaped canal side and artisan cafes, shops and restaurants.

Here East is being developed by iCITY, a joint venture between Delancey, a specialist real estate investment and advisory company, and Infinity SDC, the UK’s leading data centre operator.

(W:, Twitter: @HereEast)

About the London Legacy Development Corporation

London’s newest visitor destination,Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

(W:, Twitter: @noordinarypark, Facebook:


Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224