Posts Tagged Motorsport

The Motorsport Industry takes center stage in Academia

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.

Riccardo Paterni introducing the presentation

Riccardo Paterni introducing the presentation

 

Motorsport Value Chain

Motorsport Value Chain

Motorsport empowering management & business development

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.

Ycom LOTUS Evora Case Study

Ycom LOTUS Evora Case Study

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.

SLIDES PDF:

FIRST PART: Motorsport Industry: driving innovation and industry diversification – prima parte

SECOND PART: Motorsport Industry: driving innovation and industry diversification – seconda parte

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Leveraging on Motorsport dynamics to better understand the ones of business today

When we talk about speed, change and complexities of business nowadays we are often puzzled by the many factors that affect the survival and development of small, midsize and large organisations. Technology, markets, finance, regulatory constraints, all of them represent at the same time challenges and opportunities for growth.

Motorsport, by its very nature, increasingly represents a powerful concentration and integrated mix of all of these aspects and variables: it requires a keen attention to how resources are managed in an effective and efficient way within constantly changing constraints. Motorsport is also a proper industry which turnover has been marking and marks billions of euros across the globe. In addition its research & development has a direct influence on many fields that go well beyond the intuitive one of the automotive: aerospace, energy, defence, medical, high-tech consumer goods represent additional sectors in which the applied research driven by companies directly related to Formula 1 such as McLaren Applied Technologies or Williams Advanced Engineering have an increasingly relevant influence.

Dr.Tim Angus, from University of Conventry, presenting at the University of Pisa International MBA

Dr.Tim Angus, from University of Conventry, presenting at the University of Pisa International MBA

Recently at the University of Pisa International MBA these aspects have been pointed out with a particular focus on the Motor Valley in the United Kingdom which represents a clustered and integrated source for such developing activities. I have invited Dr.Tim Angus, from the University of Covetry, to make a presentation on such topic and it has caught the attention of the MBA participants and Italian organisations alike operating in the field and related one. At this link an article from Motorsport.com reporting on such presentation (in Italian).

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An additional kind of innovation for Motorsport survival and growth

Tonight, at the Motorsport Industry Association Business (MIA) Awards Ceremony, MIA President Chris Aylett made an inspiring speech.

January 14th 2016, Chris Aylett, MIA President, addressing the Motorsport Industry Association Awards ceremony

January 14th 2016, Chris Aylett, MIA President, addressing the MIA Awards ceremony within the AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL event

He pointed out the health of the Motorsport Industry Research & Development (30% of turnover, way ahead of any other field) at the same time he stresses the relevance of dynamic entertainment to involve the younger generation. To such scope he referred to an idea stimulated during meetings and conferences with professionals from the tech and marketing areas alike: if fans had access to live performance (human and technological) data and information interest possibly could be risen also among the all relevant younger generations. One of many ideas that need to be developed around the key realization that Motorsport depends on fans active participation no matter what …

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Motorsport survival & growth: innovation on four factors bridging past and future

The link between innovation and Motorsport has been typically associated with the technological developments that increase performance and safety. Often, throughout recent decades, top level championships have been working as a challenging and effective research & development testing field. Several topics related to energy efficiency and preservation have been addressed by Motorsport regulatory technical boards, sometimes attracting interest and investments by major automotive manufacturers: at stake not only the technological research but also the brand association with a more sustainable way to conceive not simply automotive but mobility overall.

Jim Clark on Lotus 49... once upon a time...

Jim Clark on Lotus 49… once upon a time…

The Motorsport sustainability model: four factors

It is a matter of fact that Motorsport in order to survive and possibly grow (within an ever changing social, economic and market dynamics), cannot look at a sustainability operational model only from innovations linked to technology (no matter the amount of investments made by major manufactures), there are also at least three other factors that require dynamic innovations in order to make the overall Motorsport operational model sustainable: business, entertainment and passion for the sport (simply stated in alphabetical order).

While working on the research for a new book ( www.fasttrackinnovation.it ), I have been reading many first hand accounts related to the developments of Motorsport during the last 50 years and with colleagues I have integrated this with direct interviews to key players from the frontline or behind the scenes. So far we have been focusing mainly on the European context branching out into the USA and Indian ones. All of this has brought me to further appreciate the times (60s, 70s) when the equation of the four factor appeared to be set, in my opinion, along this order of relevance: passion for the sport, business, entertainment and technology.

Without passion no teams, manufacturers and drivers alike would have contributed to developing the popularity of the sport to date. Ferrari arose from a sense of passion rooted in the early car racing within Modena and its surrounding areas. Within Britain the Motorsport Valley arose from that passion that made overcome the necessity to squeeze at best all of the resources available to compete at the best possible levels. This passion fueled the rise of business and eventually an industry related to Motorsport.

Business in itself required to keep attracting attention and capitals from investors (back them mostly related to the automotive industry itself), hence the focus not only on technological advances (which pace of development was in relative terms much slower than the current one) but also on entertainment. Actually, it was important to manage at best this entertainment factor edging between gruesome danger claiming many lives (before Jackie Stewart’s determination to lobby to concretely improve safety) and glamour (back then Montecarlo was truly the top of game on this). Technology had no doubt its part but overall its influence was quite relative at a time when the influence of pure mechanics came ahead of rising aerodynamics concepts and the concept of applied electronics was still in its very early infancy to say the least.

Within all of this framework I found quite timely and intriguing a Motor Sport Magazine August 2015 Editorial by the title ‘From Jim Clark to Formula E’http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/magazine/from-the-editor/from-jim-clark-to-formula-e/ . It articulates the link between two extremely different Motorsport eras, yet eras that once again necessarily have to deal with the same four factors: business, entertainment, passion and technology. Innovation is needed within the overall business operational model featuring these four building blocks. At stake is the overall sustainability of Motorsport itself.

Innovating the four factors to sustain survival and growth

To innovate it means to develop creative ideas (not necessarily original, they can also represent a marked evolution from previous ones or ideas integrally coming from different fields) into concrete results. As Formula E exemplifies, innovation in technology is already in action fueled by overall technology sustainability and branding focuses by major automotive players. In my opinion key innovations are needed within the dynamics of the other three components that are all integrated and interlocked depending on a single key element: reignite the passion for the sport by target audiences.

There are many social, demographic and economic factors that lowered and are lowering that passion; yet it all can be related to a lessening of the entertainment appeal. Racing can still be quite thrilling and exciting (without lowering the safety standards that arguably have at time reached levels of excesses at the expense of the sport), yet nowadays are passion for the sport and entertainment the actual factors of focus for a sustainable business development? Within these dynamics there is the need to outline a model visionary enough to overcome the short term focus creating an overall sustainability well beyond the short term. Innovations relevant to the factors that have the most leveraging power for sustainability need to be implemented.

The right kind of leveraging?

I came to similar conclusions last year when I had the privilege to participate and enjoy a program that allows fans to fuel that passion by lapping at Daytona tri-oval with a Nascar (after that I have come to appreciate that racing on ovals is not simply making boring rounds! At this link a report on the experience…http://www.riccardopaterni.it/always-new-fun-challenge-this-time-lapping-at-daytona-with-nascar-at-265-kmh/ ). This is an example of innovation in programs that keep enriching fans’ passion (the program I attended begun a few years back yet no doubt represented a targeted innovation with specific industrial and commercial investments).

In addition, still in Daytona, I saw with my own surprised eyes the focus on making it easier for fans to access track entertainment: high-tech elevators being built to reach the top of the imposing world famous checkered grandstands: the show easy to reach (and at alluring prices). It does not matter if many of us observe that within the USA racing scene technological innovation is basically not existent from our European perspective. Passion for the sport is fuelled as well as entertainment and this makes it more concrete and reachable to develop a business model that, among unavoidable up and downs, keeps Motorsport as a sport and an industry in continuos development in the USA.

Is this the right kind of leveraging power to be utilized also in Europe? The debate is no doubt wide ranging, yet resolutive action overrides many of the sterile debates we are often so effective in articulating.

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