Friday 17 Jul 2015

BTVLEP helping to drive technological change

BTVLEP along with 6 other LEPs worked with UKTI to support a major inward investment mission to the region ahead of the British Grand Prix at the beginning of July. At the heart of the mission was the “Driving Technological Change” Conference at Silverstone which was attended by over 200 high performance engineering businesses and sector representatives.

Speakers at the conference included Joe Greenwall Head of the Automotive Industry Association, Chris Aylett CEO of the Motorsport Industry Association and Hugh Dickerson Senior Head of Automotive at Google.

Bucks businesses were represented as part of the Intelligent Mobility workshop by Buckingham’s Racelogic  who explained how their ground-breaking development of indoor GPS systems has enabled a technology which was initially driven by motor-sport to break into major international markets for tunnelling and driverless vehicle technology in both automotive and rail freight supporting significant international expansion.

Aylesbury’s  Graphite Additive Manufacturing  exhibited at the event. The company, which are a spin off from Red Bull Racing, are only just over 12 months old but are already employing  9 members of staff and have plans to expand to 50 within the next 24 months due to a burgeoning order book for their tough and lightweight 3D printed parts which are ideal or prototype development.

The event was sponsored by MEPC the owners and promoters of Silverstone Park, the biggest Science Park in the country and whose most significant developments are to be in the Buckinghamshire part of the circuit.   

The UKTI Mission visited Hartridge of Buckingham and had the opportunity to hear how the recent purchase by Delphi has added a new drive to the world-leading diesel injection system testing process to grow its international market share. The company which have an 80 year heritage, employ 90 staff have an annual turnover of £13m but have ambition to grow to £20m by 2020. The global diesel market is growing, with particular increases  in China, India and Africa. The process of change is being even tighter environmental controls making the testing systems produced by Hartridge increasingly vital for the global market.

The mission, which included representatives from 9 countries and featured representatives from Ferrari, Mazda and the Chinese Regional Government also enjoyed separate visits to Silverstone Park for a breakfast engagement  and for an evening engagement at Stoke Mandeville

Ian Barham
BTVLEP Partnership Manager

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