The winner of the 2017 competition will receive a £9000 cash prize, industry acclaim and a money-can’t-buy six-month work experience programme shared between Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Horiba Mira.
The competition invites entrants to submit an original idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business in one of five categories: mobility, connectivity, sustainability, customer experience or marketing and communication.
Prospective innovations can now apply to any element of the automotive business, from concept right through to the aftermarket sector.
Autocar editor-in-chief and Award head judge, Steve Cropley, said: “Year after year, the judges and I are consistently amazed both by the standard and ingenuity of the entries and we look forward to seeing a multitude of new cross-category ideas coming through in 2017”.
Many Next Generation Award finalists have found industry positions. 2011 runner-up Katie Jones is a colour and materials designer at Jaguar Land Rover, 2012 finalist Jonathan Maynard is lead engineer for interior and exterior components at Aston Martin, and 2012 winner Roberto Antonio Pace is a design engineer at McLaren Automotive.
“While we function principally at board level for the global automotive industry, it’s clear to us that the automotive industry has an acute need for young and diverse talent,” said Courland Automotive global managing partner, Martin Bohling. “The Autocar Courland Award offers an unparalleled opportunity for the bright industry leaders of tomorrow to gain first-hand experience of what it’s truly like to work with some of the best known automotive brands in the world.”
Entries to the 2017 Award will be open until 5pm on 29 August. Six finalists will be selected to present their innovations to the panel of judges in November, with the winner being announced at the annual dinner of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday, 28 November.