Go ahead for sports engineering innovation centre

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) is delighted with the announcement that £2m of its Local Growth Funding has been invested in the development of a new 26,000 sq ft state-of-the-art sports engineering innovation centre at Silverstone Park.

Situated in BTVLEP’s Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub will establish a research, development and business incubation centre for British high-performance cycling.

Cycling engineering and design research & development is currently dispersed over the UK so opportunities for knowledge and skills sharing are limited and cycling lacks dedicated test facilities, generally using facilities designed for other sectors such as automotive and aeronautics. The new hub, which is owned by TotalSim Ltd, will address these issues.

Richard Harrington, BTVLEP Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this exciting innovation hub at the heart of the Silverstone High Performance Technology Cluster, to fire innovation, business productivity and growth for the local economy.”

The engineering hub, which is a partnership project – includes, alongside TotalSim, MEPC and BTVLEP, the University of Buckingham, University of Northampton and Silverstone UTC – will incubate new high-performance technology companies; enhance the capabilities of existing companies in the Silverstone Technology Cluster; attract new companies to the cluster and create new learning and career opportunities for apprentices and students.

It is anticipated the facility will be completed in the first quarter of 2019 and, over a period of five years, it is projected to provide 65 new jobs, ten apprenticeships and support to 45 enterprises.

TotalSim MD Rob Lewis commented: “Tapping into the world class high-tech skills pool around Silverstone enables us to create a unique innovation incubator for companies in sports engineering and services which we predict will have global appeal.”

He added: “If we can pool the right things together then we believe that organisations will come from around the world to take advantage of the facility – thereby helping to put the UK at the forefront of the development of aerodynamic technologies.

“In fact this could be the start of a whole series of ventures around Silverstone to do with sports science, engineering and education.”

TotalSim has already enjoyed considerable success in sports engineering with Great Britain’s cycling team and other Olympic sports.

MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone and also Chair of the STC, enthused: “This is an exciting development for Silverstone Park and we are delighted to welcome TotalSim who are world leaders in the field of computational fluid dynamics.”

Roz added: “The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub represents a new innovation centre with specialist facilities to support companies involved in aerodynamics and sports engineering.

“It also provides opportunity for companies in the area to apply their motorsport and/or advanced engineering capabilities to the sports science sector including cycling, winter Olympic sports and Paralympic sports which are all growing in popularity.

“This could make a real difference to the success of athletes and we are looking forward to working with TotalSim, a local company within the STC, to make this unique facility happen.”

Buckinghamshire is the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain where, for well over a decade, more businesses have started here than anywhere else in the UK. This is borne of the heartbeat of enterprise, which is manifest in a propensity to act; and a
propensity to successfully exploit new ideas. It is no accident that we are the Birthplace of the Paralympics at Stoke Mandeville, the creative film engine for James Bond and Star Wars at Pinewood Studios, and the joint home of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.

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