£70m engineering and innovation centre opens for business

A £70m engineering and innovation centre helping to decarbonise the region’s transport sector has been officially opened.

The the 13,500 sqm IAAPS building was part-funded by a £10m cash injection from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority.

Located in the Bristol and Bath Science Park, which is in Emersons Green, IAPPS offers world-class expertise and the latest tech to clean up the region’s automotive and many other hard-to-electrify sectors, with things on site like specialist labs for cutting-edge research on delivering electric cars.

The centre was opened by the West of England’s  Mayor Dan Norris and Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen.

With transport accounting for around 44 per cent of the West’s CO2 emissions, Mr Norris says the research centre will help make high-polluting vehicles a thing of the past, vital to helping take the steps towards reaching net zero.

The Mayoral Combined Authority has also provided over £4m for the site’s trailblazing hydrogen work including over £2.5m for the their ‘Hydrogen Sustainable Transport Economy Accelerator’ project, including cash for kit to produce enough green hydrogen to cut their annual emissions by 84%.

IAAPS was officially opened by Mr Norris and Mr Glen who cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, Professor Chris Brace, Executive Director of IAAPS, and others.

Dan Norris said: “Despite what some might say, getting to net zero still very much matters in the West of England, and this country. But if we are going to keep reducing our emissions at pace, we are going to need the transport sector especially to shift gear, and do more research in clean, powerful fuels like hydrogen.

“That’s why I’m proud to open this world-leading research and innovation centre, part funded by a £10 million cash injection from my Mayoral Combined Authority, which will really put rocket boosters under our plans for the West to become a zero-emission and innovation leader.

“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 sectors like aerospace, automotive and future technologies. It will help train up the next generation of researchers and innovators vital to help these sectors clean up and gear up for a bright, net zero future, which is absolutely vital.

“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 Professor Brace and his team. It just goes to show how much of a key player our West of England region is becoming in the fight against the climate and ecological emergencies we all face.”