Focus on Formula 1

@WilliamsRacing on #innovation & #business #CBI2015

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd was founded by Frank Williams and an ambitious British engineer called Patrick Head in 1977. The company is based in an empty carpet warehouse in Didcot, Oxfordshire, and first competed in the latter half of the season.

Almost 40 years later the business now employs 700 people and spans Williams Martini Racing, Williams Advanced Engineering, a Conference Centre and a Heritage division.

#CBI2015 welcomes
Claire Williams


As one of the UK's most successful exports, F1 is a great example of how cutting edge innovation can have a positive impact on business success. 

This session is a showcase from an industry that is blazing a trail in 2015 by employing the latest technology, engineering excellence and creative design to gain a competitive edge and thrill its audience.

Established by Williams in 2010, Williams Advanced Engineering takes cutting edge technology and know-how learnt in F1 and uses it to improve the performance of companies in the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence and energy sectors.

Following the hybridisation of F1 in 2009, Williams Advanced Engineering works with its customers on new products that are more energy efficient but crucially do not compromise on style or performance, helping them improve their brand image and meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. 

Key projects include creating with Jaguar Land Rover the C-X75, a hybrid supercar currently seen on screens in the latest James Bond film, SPECTRE, developing the batteries that power the cars in Formula E, the world's first fully electric racing series, and creating the data backbone of a new armoured vehicle for global defence contractor General Dynamics.

Williams Advanced Engineering also has a Technology Ventures division that works with start-up companies in the clean energy sector to refine and bring their products to market. This has seen a collaboration with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy to develop a new aerodynamic device that can significantly reduce the energy consumed by refrigerators in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Successfully Incubating Technology - Flywheel Energy Storage

Williams Hybrid Power, part of the Williams Group of companies from 2010 until 2014, is a primary example of Williams successfully incubating and then spinning off Formula One bred energy efficient technology.

Williams Hybrid Power was initially engaged in developing a flywheel energy storage system for Williams' 2009 Formula One car. Whilst this flywheel system was never raced in Formula One, Williams' continued investing in the technology because of a strong belief in its wider commercial potential.

The technology was first validated in motorsport - Porsche used Williams Hybrid Power's flywheel in its GT3R endurance racing car, which won its first race in the World Endurance Championship in 2011.
And Audi Sport used a Williams Hybrid Power flywheel in its 2012 and 2013 Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro

A key market for flywheel energy storage technology is the public transport sector. This technology can save fuel and reduce green house gas emissions by up to 30% in a city bus for example. 

WHP worked with leading partners in the public transport field to test and validate the technology:

- Partnered with Go-Ahead Group to trial the system in London buses
- Partnered with the worlds largest tram manufacturer, Alstom, to develop flywheel systems for its Citadis tram fleet

With the flywheel technology successfully validated and ready for volume manufacture, Williams sold WHP to FTSE 100 engineering company GKN in April 2014 in a multi-million pound deal. 

It is Williams' technological creativity and speed to market that has allowed this technology to be incubated successfully, with GKN having the resources to manufacture and market the product on a global scale.

Learn how innovation can give you a competitive edge in your industry #CBI2015 /14:00 /9th November 2015