Conference @ Regent's University LONDON - MOTORSPORT INDUSTRY: driving innovation and industry diversification


The Motorsport Industry is rapidly developing an industrial and managerial influence that goes well beyond the business of racing. This is one of the reasons why it has been introduced on 28th September 2016 at Regent’s University in London within an International Academic Conference organised by the International Academy of Management & Business (the Academy involves scholars and practitioners coming from all over the world, focusing on several research topics that are shaping the present and future of organisational and business development www.iamb.net ).

Riccardo Paterni (Entrepreneur focusing on Motorsport developments at Synergy Pathways), Dr.Tim Angus (Honorary Research Fellow, Center for Business in Society, Coventry University) and Gabriele Testi (Motorsport journalist) have elaborated a presentation illustrating the relevance of the Motorsport Industry in developing knowledge, innovation and know-how that can be shared and applied across various industries.

After a brief introduction relevant to the nature itself of Motorsport as a global business and to its roots historically based mainly in the UK and Italy, the presenter (Riccardo Paterni) has outlined three key concepts relevant to the Motorsport Industry: 1) the substantial amount of know-how that is dynamically produced and utilised because of a unique mix of high level of technological capital investment and highly skilled human capital; 2) the concrete understanding and implementation of innovation; 3) the systematic capability to share know how across industries. Specific case studies have illustrated the concepts.

The first two case studies have featured two Italian companies deeply rooted into Motorsport. Costruzioni Meccaniche Novricom (based in Pontedera – Tuscany) and Ycom (based in Colecchio, close to Parma – Emilia Romagna).

Powerful mix of top technology and top human skills

Costruzioni Meccaniche Novicrom, whom founder Iliano Parrini was a young colleague of Enzo Ferrari in Alfa Romeo well before becoming a Ferrari supplier (since the late ’60). Novicrom develops high precision machine tooling to manufacture small batches components and prototypes. Since its founding in 1947 the company invested 20% of its turnover in technology and at the same time retained a highly skilled, continuously trained, workforce which seniority goes well above 30 years. This unique mixes allowed for a transfer of applied know-how from aviation to Motorsport and from there to more sophisticated aerospace and aviation industries straightening top level presence in motorsport and automotive.

Innovation and the motorsport culture

Ycom, a motorsport manufacturer focusing on the entire project innovation cycle: design, development, carbonfiber, manufacturing, testing and racing. In particular it has been pointed out the capability of the company to accelerate the timing of the innovation process – measured through the Technology Readiness Level developed by NASA – while containing budgets. To illustrate the point it has been selected the project commissioned by Lotus to Ycom relevant to the project of the GTE version of the Evora set for racing at the 24Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship. The case study shows the unique overall motorsport culture driven by a passioned skilled sense of determination to develop innovation: solutions to problems, to effectively generate and sustain performance.

A flow of knowledge: from racing to pharmaceutical

Last but not least the case study selected to show the hight capability to share motorsport know-how across other fields. McLaren has since been since the ‘70s an innovator in utilising sensors to capture and download data from the racing car in other to elaborate them. McLaren has been one of the first motorsport companies to perceive itself as an overall technology company: the overall McLaren Technology Group concept begins from there and it has evolved since into the current McLaren Applied Technologies. This last company has set up a partnership with the pharmaceutical corporation Glaxo Smith Klein to utilise a much evolved sensor technology to monitor, prevent and manage several health issues. A flowing know-who from tracks to the pharmaceutical industry.

An open forum

A debate has emerged with the generalist academic audience that has come to realise how the Motorsport Industry can represent concretely a conceptual and practical way to improve management and business development methods. This can represent an all new dimension of Motorsport that, no doubt, deserves to be further analysed, understood and applied.




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