New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME) is the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership-recognised sector group devoted to promoting and developing the manufacturing and engineering industry throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. The network exists for the benefit of these businesses and represents their best interest in all the activity it undertakes. The NAAME Industry Council provides the leadership necessary for the industry to become the most vibrant and connected engineering and manufacturing community in the UK, through effective partnership working and collaboration. It represents a triple-helix coalition comprised of academic, public sector and private sector partners.
NAAME’s primary proposition is to work alongside partners to develop opportunities which give rise to a range of member benefits (e.g. stimulating innovation, productivity gains and knowledge transfer) in pursuit of collective benefit and inclusive growth. NAAME is progressing a number of strategic interventions aimed at maximising the potential of the companies and individuals that exist throughout Norfolk and Suffolk including, but not only limited to, Productivity East, the Talent Sharing Platform and the Digital Accelerator.
NAAME also maintains a network of Manufacturing Groups covering all of Norfolk and Suffolk, and this is the primary way in which businesses engage with it. These groups are free to attend and provide a forum of trust whereby like-minded individuals from manufacturing and engineering businesses can connect with each other to exchange knowledge, explore new business ventures, access expertise to assist with new product development or innovation, and discuss and resolve industry challenges. Crucially, membership is free by signing up through the website.
revolution in electric vehicles
Next to Hethel Engineering Centre (HEC) are the headquarters and test track of the world-famous British sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars Ltd. The company has been in Norfolk since it moved into a purpose-built factory at Hethel in 1966. Its presence has been a powerful catalyst for other automotive related businesses, as well as talented designers and engineers, to locate here.
In 2019 the company unveiled the Lotus Evija, the first fully electric, zero emissions, British hyper-car. This 2,000hp, precision engineered, ultra-light-weight two-seater, caught the attention of the global media. Following a substantial investment in new production facilities by Geely Auto Group, which has a controlling interest in Lotus, the Evija will now be built at Hethel.
The UK aims to be a leader in EV design and manufacturing by 2040. Equipmake, which started life at HEC, is a great example of the innovative automotive companies in our region working to make that happen. It has designed and developed the EBus electric drive train, including its own class-leading APM200 spoke motors and advanced power control system, specifically for buses.
The versatile EBus platform enables virtually any bus maker to go electric. After securing £7.5m in funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre, it received its first order from commercial vehicle maker Agrale in Brazil. To scale up production, Equipmake moved a few miles down the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor from Hethel to a purpose-built manufacturing facility near the famous Snetterton racetrack.