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Students gear up to compete in Grand Final of Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge
Grand Final to be held on Thursday 9 July 2009 at Silverstone Circuit


School students from across the UK are gearing up to compete in the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge 2009 Grand Final to be held on Thursday 9 July at the world famous Silverstone Circuit. The winners of one category could see their designs for new Formula Fashion clothing sold in the Silverstone shops.

The Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge is open to school students aged 11 to18, working in teams to design new products for the motorsport industry and solve engineering challenges. Categories include a challenge to design a Formula One car for the year 2020 and a Formula Fashion challenge to design an outfit for a motorsport team.

Following pre-judging of a large number of Design Challenge entries, 23 teams from 13 schools were shortlisted to compete in the Grand Final. The teams were then put through their paces at a series of intensive training workshops held at Silverstone Innovation Centre to teach them about business planning, marketing and presentation.

At the Grand Final, which is modelled on the Dragons Den television programme, the shortlisted teams will give presentations to a judging panel of senior figures from the motorsport industry and local businesses.

Each team has up to four members, who choose to compete in one of four challenges:

• Vehicle 2020 is the challenge of designing a Formula One car for the year 2020, taking into account how technology will rapidly change. Supported by F1 in Schools.

• The Formula Fashion challenge is to design a shirt or sweatshirt to be sold in the outlets at Silverstone Circuit. Supported by Silverstone Circuit.
• The Engineering Excellence challenge is to emulate the London Eye and design a new tourist attraction for a UK town or city, with a budget of £15m. Supported by Northamptonshire Enterprise.

• What-ya-call-it? is about coming up with the next clever idea for an innovative solution to a vexing everyday problem. Supported by Bletchley Park.

In addition, there are awards for Best Team Image, supported by Scalextric, and Best Visual Presentation, also supported by Sarah Franklin Racing. The overall champion team awarded the Design Challenge Trophy will also win a prize donated by Lunar Racing of a day out behind the scenes at the Britcar 500 6 hour race at Silverstone.

In addition to providing a special prize for the winners, Lunar Racing is offering teams taking part in the Design Challenge the chance to enter an extra competition to design a method for the production of high-quality biodiesel fuel made from cooking oil.

Dianne Wilson, Manager of Silverstone Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted with the enthusiasm of the teams - they are set to produce some stunning creations for the Final. We are pleased that the Design Challenge is growing in popularity each year as it reflects the ethos of Silverstone Innovation Centre, which is all about providing practical business support for the next generation of companies associated with the motorsport industry.”

The Design Challenge was conceived by Silverstone Innovation Centre in close association with Darren Giles, a design and technology teacher at The National School in Nottingham. Darren Giles said: “The standard of the entries for this year’s Design Challenge was very high and we’re looking forward to viewing some exciting product ideas and ingenious engineering creations at the Grand Final.”

Silverstone Circuit will be hosting the Grand Final at its International Media Centre as well supporting the Formula Fashion challenge. The winners of this challenge could see their designs sold in one of Silverstone’s shops. David Thomson, Legal and Procurement Director of Silverstone Circuit, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the Grand Final and supporting the Formula Fashion challenge. I am looking forward to judging the team pitches.”

The expert judges for the Grand Final are:
• David Thomson, Silverstone Circuit
• Nick Carpenter, Delta Motorsport
• Sarah Franklin, Sarah Franklin Racing
• Julie Furnival, Northamptonshire Enterprise
• Terry Mitchell, Bletchley Park
• Adrian Norman, Scalextric
• Andy Howlett, F1 in Schools
- ENDS -
Notes for editors
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director
Tel: + 44 (0)1865 811199 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photo available on request
The Overall Winner of the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge 2008, Liam Elliott from The National School, Nottingham, collects his Award from Pat Symonds, Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering.

About the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge
Founded in 2007, the Silverstone Innovation Centre Design Challenge is open to school students who work in teams to design new products for the motorsport industry and solve engineering challenges. It is designed so that the work teams put into competing can be woven into regular design and technology classes. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk/designchallenge

About Silverstone Innovation Centre
Silverstone Innovation Centre is a joint venture between British Racing Drivers Club and the East Midlands Development Agency, managed by Oxford Innovation. The Centre is designed to house up to 40 high performance engineering start-up and growing companies and offers 30,000 sq ft of space with individual units ranging from under 200 sq ft to over 1,000 sq ft. It is located at Silverstone Circuit, the home of British motorsport and the venue of the British Grand Prix, and is served by the A43 dual carriageway between the M1 and M40. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk/silverstone

About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise. The company operates a network of Innovation Centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 300 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the investment networks have helped over 90 companies raise £19.5m. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions include SQW Consulting, which provides consultancy services in sustainable economic and social development to public sector organisations; SQW Energy, which provides energy market design and carbon management services and SQW Asia, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to Asia and international market. For more information: www.sqwgroup.com



Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+ 44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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