Prime Minister David Cameron has opened the new Williams Advanced Engineering site, located at the same Grove site as the Williams Martini Racing team. He was joined at the launch by Williams Team Principal Sir Frank Williams, Group CEO Mike O’Driscoll and Williams Advanced Engineering Managing Director Craig Wilson.
The 3,800 sq. building is the result of an £8m investment by Williams over the past couple of years, and features a groundfloor workshop with Formula One inspired build bays. The facility will be able to accommodate up to 250 design engineers, and also features a number of confidential rooms where projects can be discussed in absolute privacy and secrecy.
A statement from Williams described the aim of Williams Advanced Engineering is ‘to use the technology, know-how and rapid development skills honed in Formula One to deliver cutting edge technology solutions to the automotive, motorsport, transport and energy sectors.’
There are four key areas that the company specialises in: hybrid power systems and electronics, dynamics, advanced lightweight materials, and cutting edge aerodynamics. Working in close collaboration with its customers and partners, Williams Advanced Engineering creates energy efficient performance to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.
Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at the launch about being proud that British engineers and designers play an integral part of Formula 1.
“Formula One is a world beating, hi-tech industry and I am very proud that Britain and British engineers and designers play such a key role within it,” said Cameron. “Williams opening their Advanced Engineering facility in Oxfordshire is great news for the local area and a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a better future for Britain.”
Mike O’Driscoll, the Group CEO of Williams was happy the Prime Minister was able to make time to open the new facility. He believes Williams has a big part to play in tackling the worldwide energy conservation issues.
“We are honoured to have the Prime Minister here today to join us at the start of an extremely exciting time for Williams Advanced Engineering,” said O’Driscoll. “This new state-of-the-art building gives our talented and diverse skills base a home and provides capacity for 250 designers, engineers and technicians.
“Williams’ diversification programme has achieved much over the past few years and from here I expect Williams Advanced Engineering to make rapid progress. Improving energy efficiency is an important global concern and we are confident that Williams has the unique know-how and resources to play an important role in tackling this issue.”
The Williams Advanced Engineering has been operating since 2011, with its first project being the Jaguar C-X75, which is one of the most sophisticated hybrid supercars ever made. The company is also working in tandem with Nissan on its high performance NISMO products, and is the sole supplier of the batteries for the inaugural season of the Formula E Championship.