The United Kingdom Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk, toured the Williams Technology Centre (WTC) in Qatar yesterday as part of an official visit to Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Having previously met with Sir Frank Williams in London to discuss the Oxfordshire-based company’s investment in the region, the Minister wanted to see first-hand how Williams F1 is working and sharing its world-class motorsport engineering expertise with a key partner in the Middle East.
The Minister witnessed, and briefly drove, the advanced vehicle simulator development platform from which WTC engineers are developing solutions for other motorsport classes, regular road users, emergency services and commercial fleet driver training and certification markets in Qatar and abroad. The Minister was also briefed on the Centre’s high-powered flywheel energy storage development programme which will help make Qatar’s ambitious transport and electricity infrastructure more efficient and reliable.
The dynamic nature of Williams’ engagement in Qatar was illustrated when, in November 2010, a partnership between the WTC and UK supermarket group, Sainsbury’s, was announced. The relationship will see the Formula One inspired vehicle simulator technology used to support the training and development of Sainsbury’s drivers to enhance both energy efficiency and safety.
Mark Prisk said: “Williams F1’s Technology Centre in Qatar is an excellent example of the strengthening ties between the UK and Qatar. Following the recent State visit to the UK by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, The Emir of Qatar, the governments of the UK and Qatar committed to expand relationships in the areas of technology, business and education. Williams F1 is a prime example of the collaboration we would like to encourage.”
Damien Scott, General Manager of the Williams Technology Centre in Qatar, said, “We were delighted to host the Minister’s visit to our Centre. Williams F1 possesses strong engineering capabilities, a culture of rapid innovation and unique intellectual property. With its support of R&D and incredibly dynamic economy, Qatar is an excellent location to pursue Williams F1’s technology commercialisation objectives.”