Dr Paul Nieuwenhuis AffIMI
Dr Peter Wells
The automotive industry is still one of the world's largest manufacturing sectors, but it suffers from being very technology-focused as well as being relatively short-term focused. There is little emphasis within the industry and its consultancy and analyst supply network on the broader social and economic impacts of automobility and of the sector that provides it. There is a lack of people looking at higher level issues affecting the sector and its impact on society, the economy, and culture more generally. As one of the few academic centres globally to study this sector and its broader impact, the work of CAIR has therefore been influential worldwide. With increasing pressure to make the industry and its products more sustainable, growing uncertainty in the industry and questioning of existing business models, the specific research strands in which CAIR has built up a track record, as well as the higher level perspective offered by CAIR are increasingly valued.
CAIR is part of the Logistics and Operations Management Section of Cardiff Business School and it aims to remain one of the leading academic centres in the EU dedicated to the economic and strategic aspects of the world automotive sector. Over recent years CAIR has shifted its emphasis from a primary government and industry focus to a greater emphasis on academic outputs. This has resulted in a growing number of articles in refereed journals. The development of an environmental rating system for cars by CAIR with consultancy Clifford-Thames is an example of an idea with a more practical application. It was 'highly commended' in the Cardiff Innovation Awards. The system is available as an interactive tool from the Clifford-Thames website: www.clifford-thames.com.
Over the years, clients have come from both the private and public sectors and have included Ford, Volvo, Toyota, Shell, Ernst & Young, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Financial Times, the Royal Thai Government, UK Office of National Statistics, ACEA, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, State Planning Bureau of the PRC, BERR, DEFRA, Welsh Assembly Government, Transport for London, EU DG Environment, OECD and the International Transport Forum. In 2001 CAIR became linked with the new Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), being responsible for the BRASS research strand in sustainable mobility and sustainable business models, reflecting its long-standing work in the field of business and environment : www.brass.cf.ac.uk
The international scope of CAIR is enhanced by its links with research institutions in, among others, Sweden, Netherlands, India, Brazil, Italy, France, Denmark, Japan, Korea, China and the US. CAIR is also a member of a number of international academic networks, such as the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Business Observatory, which is coordinated by Bocconi University in Milan and includes Imperial College, Cass Business School, TU Berlin, IESE Spain, CERAM Sophia Antipolis, and University of St. Gallen among its members.
As well as being asked to add 'intellectual capital to business, industry and government, as one of very few independent academic centres analysing the automotive sector, CAIR is frequently asked for comment by the media worldwide.
Cardiff Business School,
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