Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP – together with Director-General of the CBI John Cridland – toured advanced manufacturing facilities at Ricardo’s Midland Technical Centre where he announced further support for the UK supply chain.
The visit was organized as part of the programme for a government and industry conference on industrial strategy. The visitors toured the manufacturing and assembly operations at the Ricardo site and were able to see many of the precision engineered components and systems produced by the company’s high performance products group. The major customers of this part of Ricardo predominantly comprise the motorsports sector, including Formula 1, but manufacturing work also extends to prototype, development and niche manufacturing across many industrial sectors served by the company, including wind power and rail vehicle drivelines, and aerospace components.
“We were pleased to be able to welcome Vince Cable and John Cridland to Ricardo today,” commented Ricardo UK managing director Martin Fausset. “It was good to be able to show them some of the advanced manufacturing facilities here at our Leamington Spa site and also, to discuss our work on the Ricardo-led PICASSOS project in which we are focusing on the development of the supply chain for safe and secure embedded software systems.”
Safety-critical systems development is an area of particular concern for today’s auto industry, not least owing to increases in both the complexity of control technology and the level of powertrain electrification. The PICASSOS consortium project was announced by Ricardo in February 2013, and is involving the company partnering with Jaguar Land Rover, Axeon Power, YorkMetrics, D-RisQ and the universities of Oxford, Coventry and Warwick. The project is receiving funding under Round 2 of the UK Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The manufacturing sector is crucial to building a stronger economy. We recognize however that a manufacturing sector is only as strong as its supply chains, often made of creative and growing small and medium sized businesses. That is why we launched the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, a competitive fund that supports small and medium sized manufacturers.
"I'm pleased to be returning to Ricardo to see the progress made with their manufacturing supply chains. It's encouraging to see such an innovative manufacturer take interest and responsibility in supporting manufacturing in their local economy. I was pleased to see how far their PICASSOS project has come in developing safe and secure software systems."
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