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UK and Texan innovation highlighted at GREAT Tech Rally

F1 experts participated in a panel discussion highlighting the technology transfer between motorsports and key Texas industries.

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GREAT Tech Rally Panel
Industry experts participated in the GREAT Tech Rally on 14 November 2013. From left to right: Danny Lopez, Director-General for UK Trade & Investment USA; Geoff McGrath, Managing Director at McLaren Applied Technologies; Fred Schmidt, panel moderator and partner at Austin-based Capitol Factory; Naresh Chouhan, Marketing Director at Truphone; and Edgar Farrera, Director of Sustainability at Circuit of the Americas.

On 14 November, members of the Texas business community attended a panel discussion on the technology transfer between Formula 1 and industries such as healthcare, energy, mass transit and communications. Kevin Johns, Director of Economic Development for the City of Austin, opened the program outlining Austin’s remarkable business story as a hotbed for creativity and business in the region.

The program moderator, Austin-based Fred Schmidt, a partner at Capitol Factory, outlined his positive experience of developing business links between Austin and the UK, in particular friendship agreement between the London Borough of Hackney and Austin. This agreement was established in 2012 to catalyze opportunities for collaboration between the two cities in technology, creative industries and academia.

“The build up to the Austin Grand Prix is the perfect time to highlight the strong business links between the UK and Texas. Eight of the eleven F1 racing teams are clustered in Motorsport Valley just outside London,” said Director-General for UK Trade & Investment USA, Danny Lopez. “These teams have achieved unrivaled success in all areas of motorsport and their innovation has exciting cross-over potential for other industries, including right here in Texas”.

GREAT McLaren in Austin
The GREAT McLaren made its way around Austin, Texas, showcasing UK technology and innovation in Formula 1.

In his wide-ranging presentation, Geoff McGrath, Managing Director at McLaren Applied Technologies, spoke about McLaren’s ambition to produce breakthroughs in product, simulation and performance through advanced technology and design from adaptive environments to use of bio-mimicry. McLaren goes beyond the world of racing and into healthcare, oil and gas and other industries.

Truphone’s Marketing Director, Naresh Chouhan, outlined the communication challenges for F1 teams and how Truphone worked with the CaterhamF1 Team to enable faster, easier collaboration within their team and as a consequence achieved a 30% reduction on CaterhamF1’s global phone bills.

Edgar Farrera, Director of Sustainability at Circuit of the Americas invited the audience to consider the future of motorsports given current focus of R&D activity. He spoke of opportunities of further integration of social media, increased use of alternative fuels and smarter cars and of the challenges of changing audience attitudes. Farrera is also the first sustainability officer position in the history of Grand Prix racing.

To learn more about investment opportunities in the UK or government support for R&D contact Jaclyn Mason, Head Trade & Investment (Houston).

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Published 18 November 2013