31 October 2014
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British industry should engage with the UK's world-beating motorsport supply chain to help build a robust and sustainable platform for growth, says Chris Aylett, CEO of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), who is calling for greater dialogue between the UK's diverse manufacturing sectors in the wake of a report issued this week by the CBI.

Launched last week, the CBI's 'Pulling Together: Strengthening the UK's Supply Chains' statement outlined how a lack of investment in research and development, along with a growing skills gap, has weakened the supply chains which act as a foundation for the UK manufacturing sector. It argues that, without investment to raise capacity, the industrial and economic recovery could stall.

Aylett (pictured above) commented: "Many issues raised in the CBI report will be familiar to everyone working in manufacturing. The members of the MIA support, wholeheartedly, the call for a step change in the way in which government and industry work together to overcome the investment and skills gap.

"However, investment alone is not enough; we also must ensure there is far more, proactive collaboration and knowledge-sharing across the whole manufacturing sector. At the MIA, we actively facilitate cross-sector events to help grow new business and share insights across the motorsport, defence, automotive, aerospace and marine supply chains. Hundreds of UK companies have recently benefitted from lessons learnt by the UK motorsport industry involving rapid response, continuous R&D investment, specialist prototyping and the commercialisation of lightweight technologies."

In the past decade, the UK motorsport industry, which currently comprises currently 4,300 companies, has more than doubled in size, and now boasts an annual turnover of more than £9billion. Their average spend on R&D is an impressive 25% of sales turnover, while nearly 90% export their products or services.

Aylett concluded: "We will shortly launch a report into the motorsport supply chain, in conjunction with the UKTI and BIS, which will outline our industry business plan to bolster the sector's continuing growth.

"We are determined to continue broadening the reach of our world class suppliers into other adjacent sectors to mutual benefit. Millions of pounds of added value business have been delivered from this programme in the past few years, and we are ready to show others how to do more of the same. We call on government and the UK manufacturing sector to heed our call to collaborate to innovate. Let's talk torque!"

The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) claims to be the world's leading trade association for the motorsport, high performance engineering, and services sectors. MIA membership displays a wide demographic spread, including motorsport and performance engineering companies, race and rally teams, governing bodies, motorsport services, research organisations, race circuits and universities and colleges.

Paul Gay

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