Weekly Events Blog: 23-24 May 2022 | IPT

The Future of the Automotive Sector

Tuesday 23 May 2022 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘Emerging Technologies: The Future of Quantum.’ The discussion was chaired by Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and we welcomed guests Konstanze Scharring, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, SMMT and Professor David Greenwood, Head of Advanced Propulsions Systems at WMG, University of Warwick. The discussion spanned a wide range of topics, but primarily surrounding the importance of keeping the sector within the UK and maintaining the interest of new individuals.

Key discussion points:

  • Retaining the interest of students until graduate level to champion them into the sector is a challenge, especially based on their influences. The sector has made improvements regarding race and gender gaps, however, there needs to be a concentrated focus on reskilling adults and encouraging GCSE students.
  • There are issues within the newer developing sectors of automotives such as self-driving cars and bikes and scooters; both have issues with insurance and ensuring the safety of both the users and surrounding population.
  • Production of automotives has been thrown into the balance, with the semiconductor shortage and the war of Ukraine. However, shares in electric vehicles have risen, and the post covid bounce back has been exceptional.
  • Powering automotives in an energy crisis is challenging through new OFGEM regulation. There is a plea to use battery electrical within the vehicle as other methods such as hydrogen has an energy loss of 80% within conversion. Charging an electric vehicle is cheaper at night, and more efficient with a heat pump.

Emerging Technologies: The Future of Quantum

Tuesday 24 May 2022 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘Emerging Technologies: The Future of Quantum.’ The discussion was chaired by Carol Monaghan MP, Chair, Photonics and Quantum APPG and we welcomed guest Laura Foster, Head of Programme, Technology, and Innovation, TechUK, Jonathan Legh-Smith, Head of Scientific Affairs, BT and Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director - Quantum Technologies at UK Research and Innovation. The discussion focused on the need to keep quantum technology in the UK and turn it from academic to economic success.

Key discussion points:

  • The UK needs to turn academic strength into economic success. The bar of entry into quantum should be lowered and post a-level apprenticeships offered. This will allow young people to acquire essential skills early in their career to help plug the skills gap.
  • Quantum applications need government funding and access to business accelerators to encourage the growth of quantum start-ups, to provide them with the necessary business information required for them to thrive and keep the UK competitive. A lack of investment would have more serious geopolitical consequences as other countries would have greater access to intelligence and be more protected their self.
  • A propaganda campaign around quantum technology and what it can offer society is necessary, from seeing what’s underground without digging it up through to providing secure communication with QKD. This will help develop and encourage public understanding and engagement in quantum technology.