Business Minister Mark Prisk attended ‘Britain’s Motorsport Industry – The Business of Winning’ exhibition at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Organised by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) to highlight the motorsport industry’s multi-billion pound contribution to the UK economy, the exhibition is one in a series of ‘UK Manufacturing Excellence’ showcases held by the Government.
The Minister met key representatives from the UK’s motorsport and high performance engineering industry, who demonstrated their unique, innovative, world-beating products, along with stunning Formula One and Le Mans race-winning cars.
They emphasised the jobs the industry creates; its global success in promoting British engineering; its high investment in R&D; the inward investment it attracts and its future, growing contribution to Britain’s economy.
The aim of this showcase is to raise awareness of the motorsport industry’s considerable contribution to the UK, and its successful transfer of technology into various industries.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “Worth £6 billion per year to the UK economy – £3.6 billion of which are exports – our motorsport industry is leading the way in developing high-performance engineering technologies that have benefits not only for motorsport, but for the automotive, defence, aerospace and marine industries too, both here in the UK and across the globe.
“Its engineering and innovation excellence such as this that has helped create our country’s robust manufacturing base, which the Government has placed at the centre of its Growth Programme.
“This exhibition will also help to challenge perceptions of manufacturing, which is the aim of our ‘Make it in Great Britain’ campaign – demonstrating that manufacturing is still alive and well in this country and offers fantastic career prospects.”
Nick Fry, CEO of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and UKTI Business Ambassador, said: “We are delighted to be participating in the ‘Britain’s Motorsport Industry – Business of Winning’ exhibition and help to showcase the remarkable contribution of the motorsport industry to Britain’s economy. High performance technologies are a great asset, and it’s important to realise that the breadth of application spreads well beyond motorsport into everyday life.”
“Many of the technologies developed at the highest levels of Formula One can be developed in other areas – for example, composites to make our cars lightweight can be applied to aeroplane design, and the development of energy recovery systems in the automotive industry has been pushed along by the use of the KERS system in Formula One. Mercedes-Benz employs close to one thousand employees working in motorsport in the UK, and we also rely on an excellent and highly technical network of suppliers throughout the country. Through the work of such specialised individuals and companies, the motorsport sector is continuing to grow, thrive and diversify, and it’s an industry that our country should be very proud of.”
MiiGB Industry Champion and Williams F1 CEO Alex Burns said: “I am delighted to be an Industry Champion for the ‘Make it in Great Britain’ campaign. I am looking forward to informing the public about the great work that is being done in motorsport, which is a vibrant part of the British manufacturing industry, and how at Williams we are developing exciting new technologies for racing and then adapting these for other uses, particularly in energy efficiency and road safety. I hope that the campaign inspires many young people to consider the many exciting career options available in manufacturing.”
Paul Drayson, Owner of Drayson Racing Technologies and MIA President said: “The UK motorsport industry literally leads the world. Our winning formula is based upon the talent, inventiveness and engineering excellence that lies behind every success on track.”
The exhibition, which runs until 2 March, includes displays from leading motorsport companies in Motorsport Valley UK, including Alcon, Goodridge, Cosworth, Capricorn, Quentor, Williams F1, Mercedes-AMG F1, Xtrac, Lola and Drayson Racing Technologies. It features the latest state of the art designs and technology from a sector with sales over £6 billion a year, of which £3.6bn are exports, and employs some 40,000 people.