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Attendance at Low Carbon Vehicle event leads to £150,000 Technology Strategy Board project

Oaktec makes essential contacts at the Cenex LCV2011 event, helping to gain funding for the development of a new energy harvesting solution for hybrid vehicles.

Business Excellence Programme: Case Study

Project

Cenex LCV (Low Carbon Vehicle) event 2011

Background

Cenex LCV is the UK’s largest business-to-business low carbon vehicle event, consisting of a conference, exhibition stands, and ride and drive opportunities. It took place at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire in September 2011. The Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) Business Excellence (BE) programme supported a stand showcasing the North West automotive industry. One of the organisations with a high profile presence on the stand was Oaktec – a small engineering company that has successfully developed class-winning Honda hybrid rally cars, and which also has the vision to produce a small, efficient, ultra-low carbon vehicle.

Project aim

For the NAA stand at Cenex LCV2011 to showcase the North West’s automotive sector, with the aim of winning new business opportunities for the region’s companies.

Need for improvement

The North West has one of the largest automotive sectors in the UK, however it doesn’t have a high profile compared to some other regions. Therefore there is a need to raise the profile of the sector and individual companies in the region, and attendance at events such as LCV assists with this goal.

Approach

The NAA took an exhibition stand at LCV2011 and the Oaktec Honda Insight rally car was the centrepiece. This succeeded in attracting people to the stand, and conveying the ethos of Oaktec, ie. combining a product that wins rallies but that also wins economy runs (the Oaktec Honda Insight rally car won the hybrid car class at the 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge). An added bonus was that the evening prior to the LCV event Oaktec partner Paul Andrews and the Insight rally car appeared on the BBC’s ‘One Show’, so the car was fresh in many people’s minds when they saw it on the NAA stand.

Outcomes

Supporting the attendance of Oaktec at LCV2011 resulted in the opportunity for Paul Andrews to meet key players in the low carbon vehicle industry, in the form of potential partners and funders. One of the meetings was with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which enabled Paul to present about Oaktec. The company had previously applied for support to the TSB but despite being scored highly it had not been successful in obtaining funding. After the LCV event, Oaktec, with electronics specialist Gallium Technology, re-applied for funding as a new partnership called GOTec Vehicle Systems and was successful in obtaining £90,000 funding for an initial project to the value of £150,000. Oaktec is now in a much stronger position to introduce its technologies into further collaborative projects within the UK low carbon automotive community.

Paul Andrews says: “Support from the NAA’s Business Excellence programme allowed Oaktec to exhibit as part of the North West delegation and resulted in some critically important introductions. The LCV event allows individuals with a common interest in lowering carbon emissions from vehicles to talk at length, face-to-face, with like-minded people. This directly resulted in Oaktec being able to bring together a consortium to further develop the energy recovery technology from the hybrid rally car, and be successful in winning £90,000 of TSB funding.”

To find out more about the NAA’s Business Excellence programme, contact:

The Northwest Automotive Alliance

Land Rover Visitor Centre, South Road, Halewood, Liverpool, L24 9BJ

Telephone: 0151 486 4986

E-mail: info@nwautoalliance.com   Website: northernautoalliance.com

Oaktec

Hill House Farm, Cockerham, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA2 0DZ

Telephone: 01524 751373

E-mail: info@oaktechybrid.co.uk   Website: www.oaktechybrid.co.uk

The NAA’s Business Excellence Programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund

Investing in England's North West - European Regional Development Fund
Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham