Arrival, Rivian, private funding for STEAM education and the UK’s plans to become a global technology powerhouse: it feels appropriate that our final “traditional” style news roundup gives a concise overview of the UK’s movement into the future of tech. What you see below is a pretty representative picture of where we are now, and what comes next. See you next month for something a little different!
Arrival gets $300m lifeline
Struggling EV manufacturer Arrival has secured a crucial $300 million lifeline from Westwood Capital to help the company stay afloat until late 2023. The funding comes as Arrival seeks additional investment to develop its XL delivery vans for the U.S. market, where it aims to begin production in Charlotte, North Carolina by 2024.
Alongside the funding news which it disclosed in a recent earnings call, the company has also scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders for April 6th. Shareholders will vote on several resolutions, including a reverse stock split that would help the company regain compliance with the Nasdaq.
The cash injection from Westwood Capital provides a temporary respite for Arrival, but the company must secure additional funding to support an ambitious plan for its XL delivery vans. The success of the Charlotte production facility will be a key factor in determining Arrival's future growth and competitiveness in the electric vehicle market.
Aston Martin’s speed a product of commercial success
With Aston Martin now generating around eight times the sponsorship income that it did in 2020 - the last year it ran as Racing Point – here’s an interesting long-read article about how that form is helping elevate the brand on the race track.
Manufacturing & Tech
Equipmake unveils electric motor “believed to be the most power-dense in the world”
Equipmake has introduced the HPM-400, an ultra-lightweight and power-dense electric motor developed for high-performance applications in space, aerospace, and marine industries. The motor made its first appearance at the Future Propulsion Conference held in Solihull.
Initially designed as a high-performance rocket fuel pump for Gilmour Space Technologies' Eris rocket program in Helensvale, Australia, the HPM-400 is suitable for demanding environments due to its technological and packaging innovations. These features enable the motor to endure extreme acceleration and operate efficiently in both atmospheric pressure and space conditions.
The HPM-400 boasts a maximum motor speed of 20,000 rpm and peak power/torque of 400kW/250Nm. With a motor-only weight of 30kg, it is considered the most power-dense motor in the world. When combined with its integrated 10kg silicon carbide inverter, the entire system weighs just 40kg. The lightweight and power-dense design has the potential to revolutionize high-performance propulsion systems in various industries.
Government aims to make the UK a tech superpower by 2030
The Government has announced a new framework designed to “grow the UK economy, create high-paid jobs of the future, protect our security, and radically improve people’s lives through science, innovation and technology”. It is the first major piece of work by the Government’s newly-created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
With an initial raft of projects worth roughly £500m in new and existing funding, the Science and Technology Framework will focus on the development of five ‘critical technologies’ – AI, engineering biology (using engineering principles in the design of biological systems), future telecommunications, semiconductors and quantum technologies (which could provide capabilities that classical computing cannot).
Executives & Leaders
Rivian Chief Engineer Charles Sanderson Returns To McLaren As CTO
McLaren Automotive has revealed that it has appointed three new members to its executive management board. One of them is Charles Sanderson, who left McLaren to join Rivian Automotive. Sanderson was the company's head of software development when he left the British automaker in 2018. In Rivian, he was vice president of vehicle integration and development and became the company's chief engineer in 2019.
With the recent appointment, Sanderson is back at McLaren as its Chief Technical Officer. Sanderson will be leading the automaker's new technology roadmap and product innovation strategy.
Dyson pledges £6m STEAM investment for Malmesbury Primary School
Malmesbury Primary School in Wiltshire is set to receive a £6m investment from the James Dyson Foundation to fund a new educational centre focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM). The funding is contingent on the approval of the project and an expansion of the school's pupil numbers, which could increase by 50% if the project goes ahead. The Department of Education is expected to make a decision in July.
The James Dyson Foundation aims to help address the annual shortfall of engineering talent in the UK by inspiring young people to consider careers in engineering. Steve Heal, Headteacher of Malmesbury Primary School, expressed gratitude for the foundation's support and said the expansion would bring "wonderful new learning opportunities" for all pupils there.