University’s ‘Invest to Grow’ fund

Posted on 04 Dec 2017 and read 213 times
University’s ‘Invest to Grow’ fund Hinckley-based Vitesse Global (www.vitesse-ltd.com), an automotive engineering specialist, has received almost £100,000 from the University of Derby’s Invest to Grow fund to expand and forge new international relationships.

The business, which provides engine, gearbox and ancillary components to a niche market in the automotive sector, is aiming to use the funds to exploit a gap in the market, where British sports-car manufacturers do not offer automatic gearboxes to buyers.

Morgan Motor Co had said that it was keen to work with Vitesse Global to produce an automatic gearbox, but it needed support.

The funding from the university — comprising a £65,000 grant and a £35,000 loan — has covered the costs of the mechanical design and software development, leading to the development of the final product.

Vitesse Global’s automatic gearbox has been sold in Dubai, France, the UK and New Zealand. The company has also been in discussion with a Chinese car manufacturer to arrange training, so that its automatic gearboxes can be installed in China, and it has received requests to assist with other R&D projects.

Managing director Tim Henderson said: “We knew there was a demand for an automatic gearbox, but we did not have sufficient investment capacity on our own. We saw Invest to Grow as the stepping stone, giving us the time and input required to deliver the product.”

The funding has enabled the business to employ three new people — with the hope of employing more — and increased its capacity for innovation and R&D.

Mark Wheddon, head of strategic programmes at the University of Derby, said: “We are pleased to support Vitesse Global with the expansion of its business, which has led to new international relationships being created. The business has a lot to offer, and we can expect great things in the future.”

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