£1m funding for motorsport supply chain

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UK engineering SMEs in the motorsport supply chain can apply for funding from a £1m competition announced by the government today.

The competition, called the Motorsport Valley Launchpad, has been announced this week ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The competition is run by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and is open to businesses working as part of the Motorsport Valley business cluster, around Oxfordshire and surrounding counties. Micro, small and medium-sized firms can apply. R&D projects worth between £50,000 and £200,000 could win funding support of up to 60%. To enter, companies need to first submit a 2-minute video proposal by the end of July. Shortlisted businesses will then be asked for a short written application by 18 September. David Willetts, universities and science minister, announced the fund and described Motorsport Valley as "a hotbed for innovation and a key driver for growth in the UK". The area, he said, generates global sales of £7bn. TSB chief exec Iain Gray pointed to the success of the sector: "The majority of Formula 1 cars lining up in this weekend's British Grand Prix will be using a gearbox system supplied by Berkshire-based Xtrac. The company also supplied systems that were used by the entire grid of the 2013 Indy 500 race in the USA." He also highlighted Williams Hybrid Power, in Oxfordshire, which developed an electric flywheel energy storage system for the Williams F1 team – it has since been used by Audi in the Le Mans race and adaptations are being developed for rail, tram and bus use. For details on how to enter the Motorsport Valley Launch competition, click on the link below.