TOP scientists and business leaders will gather at Harwell Science Campus next month to discuss how to drive innovation in the car industry.

The two-day iCAR 2015 conference will take place at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, and has been jointly organised by Infineum UK, a world leader in petroleum additives for fuels and lubricants.

It is hoped that the event on November 4 and 5 will highlight how Diamond – a particle accelerator which works like a giant microscope – can help develop more efficient materials, fuels and other hardware for use in cars. Senior figures at the facility also hope it will encourage more joint research with top industry.

Claire Pizzey, deputy head of the industrial liaison group, said: “We will be looking at every aspect of cars and talking about research into a wide variety of applications, particularly using a large facility like Diamond.

“The aim will be to highlight the challenges that are facing the automotive industry, not just those next week but also in 20 years’ time.

“Making cars more efficient, getting more miles per gallon and having to fill up the tank less often – that is something everyone wants.

“iCAR 2015 will be about bringing people together to discuss what research is being done and what potential there could be. There is some very exciting research coming up.”

Chris Locke, executive vice president for marketing and technology at Infineum, added: “With a growing and diversifying global vehicle population, stricter emissions regulations and a demand for greater efficiency, the automotive industry is under great scrutiny to deliver.

“This presents the opportunity for the industry’s leading lights to share best practice and the latest research designed to tackle these issues.”

A host of speakers will be at the event, including Shell lubricants general manager innovation and technology sourcing Yann Cramer – who will give the keynote address.

Other speakers include Professor Richard Dashwood, academic director and chief technology officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group, Ricardo principal engineer Dr Penny Atkins and Professor Sven Schroeder, of Leeds University.

Jeremy Webb, editor-in-chief at New Scientist, will give an address after the event’s dinner.

This year’s iCAR event follows the first one held in 2013.

Dr Giannantonio Cibin, a principal beamline scientist at Diamond, said the wide variety of research being done at the facility ranged from work on catalytic converters, materials used in body panels, to fuel additives.

Diamond chief executive Professor Andrew Harrison said examples of projects carried out in recent years were the testing of strength of fan blades for Rolls Royce.

He added: “The automotive industry is a massive area of investment at the moment and a lot of money is being spent on research and development.’’