The 400 square metre Centenary Innovation Centre has been in operation since late 2016, and not only fulfils Ricardo’s own requirements for an events, exhibitions and training facility, but provides an impressive resource for other businesses in the region. Representing an investment by Ricardo of circa £1.2m, the purpose-designed facility provides an attractive and highly flexible open-plan space and adjacent private meeting rooms that are light, airy and well-equipped. The venue is also the new home for Ricardo’s own technology exhibition, providing a unique view of the innovations in which the company has played a part that have helped to shape the modern world – and which continue to make a major contribution to driving the future of transportation, security, energy and environment, as well as the management of scarce resources and waste.
During his visit, His Royal Highness was provided with a tour of the site and was able to meet some of the staff, including apprentices and engineers, who described some of the exhibits on display. These included a virtual reality demonstration of the combustion processes of a modern engine (a system developed in collaboration with the University of Brighton), examples of Ricardo’s work in the development of connected and autonomous vehicles, and a display showing the company’s work in the assessment of air quality and environmental impact reduction. Immediately outside the building, The Duke was shown some of the technology demonstrator vehicles developed by Ricardo to highlight the future potential of more sustainable transport.