Lotus Engineering and Swiss technology firm Iprova have announced a partnership which they say, for the first time, combines the latest AI-enabled way of creating breakthrough inventions with the ability to develop proof of concept, design and engineering of products based on them.
They explain that, targeting the transportation sector in its widest sense – from e-scooters to autonomous trucks – the two companies will deploy their respective engineering expertise and data-driven invention technology. The pioneering joint venture will promote innovation at key points of industry disruption, then “productionise” the resulting inventions more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
“The products we all use every day – from mobile devices through to domestic appliances – come to market using technologies drawn from a wide range of business fields,” Lotus says in a statement. “The same is increasingly true for transportation solutions, which now integrate components from the worlds of mobile tech, sustainability and many others.
“Lotus has a wealth of experience in identifying and adapting ideas from other fields of industry. Most famously, inspiration for the invention of the now ubiquitous automotive adhesive bonding process pioneered on the Lotus Elise resulted from its development team looking at the non-stick coating used on cookware, then combining this concept with further insights from other domains.
“By contrast, Iprova uses data and algorithms to inspire potential inventions and, because this is done in real-time, they are created much sooner and more reliably than using traditional methods.
“Iprova’s Invention Studio platform leverages AI, data and automation to transform what can often be very manual and slow-moving invention processes. Its data-driven approach to invention brings a systematic and repeatable process to creating breakthrough inventions across the transportation sector.
“Lotus Engineering has world-class prototyping, proof-of-concept and development expertise based on more than four decades of experience as a global consultancy. It provides comprehensive consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers and is internationally recognised for its long-standing contribution to ground-breaking engineering and innovative vehicle development.
“Together, Lotus Engineering and Iprova now offer a unique proposition which provides a comprehensive and integrated solution for companies that need to ‘invent big and implement fast’ in order to stay ahead of their competition.”
Commenting on the partnership, Julian Nolan, CEO, Iprova, said: “Lotus leads the world in driving dynamics and engagement by enabling the driver to sense feedback from the road. Our invention platform, Invention Studio, transforms the process of invention by enabling engineers and scientists to sense inventive signals as they occur, in real-time, even if they are very distant to the target invention area. This enables sector-defining inventions to be created with great speed and efficiency. There are no prizes for coming second in the race to invent and implement and, for this reason, partnering with Lotus Engineering makes perfect sense. Together we are able to invent and implement faster, minimising the time from opportunity identification through to product launch.”
(Picture – Phil Catton, Partnerships Manager at Iprova and Lotus Commercial Director Mark Stringer, courtesy Lotus)
Mark Stringer, Commercial Director, Lotus Engineering, added: “Our clients have told us that they want to make bold and breakthrough products at key points of disruption. It’s a process driven by creativity and therefore a need to invent. Iprova’s technology delivers this efficiently at scale and so this collaboration adds a vital new element to our portfolio of consultancy services.”
He added: “Just as there is a need for invention, there is also a need for implementation – to develop proof-of-concept prototypes and then engineer products. This is what Lotus Engineering provides. Our own technical services range from design and concept engineering through to full-scale industrialisation, attribute development and even manufacturing. This partnership with Iprova means we can better support our clients throughout the product development process, aiding collaboration and ingenuity right from the very start.”