A deal between Tata Steel and the University of Warwick will help scientists in the development of stronger and lighter steels, claims the UK-based steelmaker.

The deal with the university’s Warwick Manufacturing Group is claimed to mark the next stage in the creation of a new UK research and development centre for Tata Steel – Europe’s second largest steelmaker.

A research facility will open this coming autumn housing more than 40 Tata Steel scientists.

The plan is then to relocate all of Tata Steel’s UK-based specialist R&D equipment to expanded facilities at Warwick University where a new range of materials will be developed to meet customers’ future demands.

The new R&D base will enable the company to work with top class scientists and researchers, said Karl Koehler, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, who added that the new facilities will speed up the development of new steel products.

The Warwick Manufacturing Group said it was investing £20 million on the development of an advanced steel research centre at the university.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, WMG’s chairman said, “With Tata Steel we are creating a national focus that will help us ensure that the UK steel industry has the knowledge, technology and skills to be able to compete in the huge international steel market.”

Tata was heavily involved, as a key partner, in the establishment of The Proving Factory, an initiative with the high tech companies in the automotive industry designed to develop ‘the technologies of the future’.