British carmaker will launch an “innovation incubator” to expand its research and development scope.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will launch an “innovation incubator” in Portland to expand its research and development scope.
The automaker wants to implement “infotainment” technologies to make drivers’ experiences better while not compromising safety, OregonLive.com reports.
JLR established a 15,000-square-foot research site at Northwest Quimby Street and 14th, at the outer edge of the Pearl District, and is now seeking 25,000-square-feet to house the incubator and expanded engineering team. Portland has a rapidly growing tech community but doesn’t have a lot of automotive experience. That’s fine with [JLR Portland chief Matt] Jones, who moved here from the United Kingdom more than two years ago to open JLR’s Portland office.
“I don’t need an automotive engineer to work out what people will want to do in 2017,” he said. “I need people, people who are creative.”
Jaguar will hire 50 engineers to bolster the 30-person staff already on hand.
Portland Business Journal writes:
“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward,” said Matt Jones, head of future infotainment for Jaguar Land Rover, in a written statement. “As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland.”
As part of the incubator, startups will be able to work with Jaguar engineers to build out products. The company ran a pilot of the incubator with startup Vonsor, which allows drivers to take live video footage from the car’s cameras, edit the footage together and share on social media.
Intel’s presence in Oregon was a driving force behind the decision, according to media reports.