Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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New guide to improve communication between automotive technology developers

The Automotive Council has published yesterday (3 February) a new guide which defines technology and manufacturing readiness levels. This will help steer developers and adopters of new automotive technologies through the stages of bringing new capabilities to market, from the early stages of research to supply chain entry.

‘Automotive Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Levels – A guide to recognised stages of development within the automotive industry’, has been created by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), in association with the Automotive Council, the Technology Strategy Board and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It draws on established practices for defining technology development, helping to sustain and develop industrial capability and position the UK as a leader in low and ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies.

The guide provides common terms to define technology from concept to commercial production, right through to disposal, and will assist developers with self-assessment, monitoring progress, including planning goals, and actions. In particular, it will help smaller businesses bring new innovations to the marketplace by providing a common framework so they can better understand the needs of tier one companies and vehicle manufacturers, and promoting increased engagement with them.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

"The car industry is our number one manufactured export, worth nearly £6.5 billion a year to the UK economy, so it is vital for economic growth that we take all possible steps to make this sector even more competitive.

“By engaging with industry, the Automotive Council has identified that a lack of a common language to define technology from concept to commercial production is a recurring and potentially costly problem for developers in this country.

“This new guide will help remove the barriers to successful communication between manufacturers and suppliers encouraging more business in the UK."

Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE, Co-Chairman of the Automotive Council, writing in the foreword to the guide, said:

“Good, clear communication builds the foundation needed to explore new ventures and establish new business relationships. There is an ongoing need for greater co-operation, joint exploration of new designs and acquisition of evolutionary and revolutionary products in order to rebuild the strengths of the UK’s automotive sector. This set of readiness levels will assist the sector by providing specific, identifiable stages of maturity, from research through to supply chain entry.”

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said:

“The UK motor industry is well placed to provide the expertise required to meet the demands for advanced technologies from across the globe, making it more vital than ever that a common framework exists in the UK to streamline the process of bringing new technologies to market,”. “This new guide is a clear and concise way of presenting each stage of the process which will help increase the attractiveness of the UK as place for sourcing cutting-edge technologies.”

Greg Archer, LowCVP Managing Director said:

“The UK has a range of outstanding small and medium sized businesses developing innovative low carbon technologies for vehicles and fuels. This guide will help them to better communicate with prospect clients in the automotive supply chain providing new business opportunities and the prospect of both green jobs and lower carbon transport.”

A webinar will be hosted by the SMMT in the near future to provide more detailed information about how the readiness levels can be applied and referred to by developers of new technologies. The session will include a Q&A.

Notes to editors:

To download ‘Automotive Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Levels’ click here.

1. The Automotive Council was set up in response to recommendations made in the industry-led report from the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT). The Automotive Council’s main aims are to enhance the attractiveness of the UK as a location for global automotive investment, promote UK-based manufacturers and technologies and strengthen the supply chain, and position the UK as a leading global player in developing ultra-low carbon technologies. It is co-chaired by Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE.

2. The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) is an action and advisory group, established in 2003 to take a lead in accelerating the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels and to help ensure that UK business can benefit from that shift. The partnership of around 200 organisations is drawn from the automotive and fuel industries, the environmental sector, government, academia and road user groups, as well as other organisations with a stake in the low carbon vehicles and fuels agenda. It is part‐funded by grants from the Department for Transport and BIS. To be involved visit

3. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media. The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy with £40 billion turnover and £8.5 billion value added. With over 700,000 jobs dependent on the industry, it accounts for 9% of total UK exports and invests £1 billion each year in R&D. In the last ten years, huge strides have been made to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout the life cycle. Improvements in production processes mean energy used to produce vehicles is down 28%, water use is down 34% and 73% less waste enters landfill sites. Average new car tailpipe CO2 emissions have also been slashed and are down 17% compared to 2000 levels. For more details, see SMMT’s 11th Annual Sustainability Report or Motor Industry Facts at

4. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by BIS, the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit:

5. BIS' online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.


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