February 5 2014.

The Niche Vehicle Network (NVN), the UK’s largest cluster of specialist OEMs, has opened registration for its annual Symposium. Held at Gaydon on the 18th March, 2014 the event will once again see niche vehicle manufacturers and specialist technology and supply chain companies come together to discuss the development and use of innovative materials and systems within niche vehicle manufacturing.

A number of important topics will be discussed during the day-long event, including the application of lightweight materials; the design and development of innovative vehicle structures; the application of new control systems within electric vehicles and the development of new low carbon powertrains. In addition, there will be a session discussing the development and launch of new UK niche vehicle brands.

Since its launch in 2004, the NVN has become renowned for its work to promote and stimulate collaborative research and development projects within the niche vehicle manufacturing sector. Backed by the Technology Strategy Board, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and the Network has been a catalyst for more than 100 different business collaborations and has facilitated the development of both prototype vehicles and manufacturing process improvement projects.

Funded projects that will be showcasing their progress at the 2014 Symposium include:
• E-Supercharger for Super-compact Range Extender – Aeristech / Mahle Powertrain

• Compound Rotary Engine forElectric Vehicles– Advanced Innovation Engineering / Qoppa

• Electrochemistry Model-based ECU for Hybrid Power Systems - Arcola Energy / ML Electronics

• Lightweighting the Electric Quadricycle – Arden Automotive / Speeder Design / Javan Sports Cars / Hyperdrive Innovation

• Lightweight Bonded Titanium Structures for Automotive Applications – Caged Laser Engineering / Lotus Engineering / S+D Specialist Metals

• Development of an Implementation-Ready Euro VI Methane Oxidation After-treatment for Dual-Fuel Heavy Duty Vehicles – Clean Air Power / Eminox

• Safe and Versatile Torque Control– Delta Motorsport / YASA Motors / Potenza Technology

• 100 MPG Ultra Efficient Sportscar – Great British Sports Cars / Caged Laser Engineering / That’s It! Design

• Pulsar Range Extender Modelling Optimisation – miTechnology / Oaktec / Simon Hindle

• Development of a Lightweight High-Performance Carbon-Ceramic Brake System for Ultra-lightweight Vehicles – Surface Transforms / Briggs Automotive Company

• Structured Exhaust Baffles for Reduced Weight, Size and Improved Efficiency – Vortex Exhaust Technology / Fibre Technology

• Development of Lightweight Vehicle Components – Westfield Sports Cars/ KS Composites / Birmingham City University / Safety Belt Solutions / Cobra Seats

• Lightweight Composite / Aluminium Niche Vehicle Platform – Zenos Cars / First Principle Design / HPL Prototypes

Dr Viv Stephens, NVN programme director, said: “The NVN symposium is now in its third year and has quickly become the must attend event for low volume vehicle manufacturers. This is a vital opportunity for the industry to come to together and share knowledge and best practice. This year’s event will build on the success of the past two years and we will discuss current industry trends as well as the technical developments which we believe will continue to give the UK niche vehicle sector competitive advantage over the coming years.

“Our R&D funding competition last year enabled a variety of specialist manufacturers and system suppliers to successfully in secure a share of a total of £1.35 million of grant funding. This is testament to the work carried out by the Network and we want to continue to play a vital role in fostering collaboration between organisations, as well as providing assistance with project funding for network members going forward.”

To find out further details on the symposium or to register to attend  visit