2013 Award for Automotive Innovation up for grabs

12th June 2013

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has launched its search for the UK’s best up-and-coming automotive innovations. The 2013 Award for Automotive Innovation, sponsored by GKN Driveline and backed by The Times, is now up for grabs.

The competition is open to all British individuals and automotive companies, and will be judged by SMMT and a panel of industry experts. GKN Driveline’s chief engineer, Dave Salt and managing director of Large Corporate and Specialist Asset Finance, Lombard, Jim Higginbotham will judge competitors, alongside industrial editor for The Times, Robert Lea and Low Carbon Vehicles, Technology Strategy Board programme manager, John Laughlin.

Entry into the competition is free, and winners will be announced on November 26th at SMMT’s 97th annual dinner.

Entrants will be judged based on the originality of their idea, the potential their product has to transform the automotive industry, and the effect it will have on motorists. Judges will take many things into consideration when choosing a victor, including the time, effort and research and development (R&D) invested in innovative new products.

Currently, the UK’s automotive industry is the nation’s third largest sector for R&D investment. British companies spend over £1.5 billion per year on revolutionary R&D projects meant to enhance vehicle performance and the overall driving experience.

SMMT’s 2013 Award for Automotive Innovation encourages further advancement throughout the industry. Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said: "The UK is home to some of history's most renowned automotive innovators, but today we are calling for designers and engineers that are working on the technology of tomorrow. UK automotive is working hard to stay at the forefront of our global industry and SMMT's Award for Automotive Innovation will draw attention to some of the best ideas that could benefit the sector for years to come."

Last year, award went to Optare plc for its full-sized battery-powered electric bus, the first of its kind in the UK.

To learn more about the competition and how to enter, visit SMMT’s website.