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Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub For Cycling Industry

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, UK – Sports engineers TotalSim will open a cutting-edge R&D facility for the cycling industry next February in the UK. The state-of-the-art Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub includes two new wind tunnels, plus office and workshop space for rent.

Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub For Cycling Industry
Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub required investment of more than 4.5 million euro. – Photo Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub

The project benefits from a GBP 2 million (2.28 million euro) grant from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership. This private public cooperation is aimed at building the conditions for sustainable economic growth in the county. Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub required a total investment of more than GBP 4 million (4.56 million euro)

Aerodynamic design, testing and computer modelling expert

The Hub is created by TotalSim, an aerodynamic design, testing and computer modelling expert. Originally TotalSim was part of the ‘Secret Squirrel Club’ set up by Chris Boardman to provide a technical advantage to Team GB. They also contributed to the huge success of British cycling and a number of F1-teams.

Lack of affordable R&D facilities

Announcing the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub, TotalSim stated “Having identified a lack of affordable R&D facilities for sports teams and businesses, the goal of the newly created Engineering Hub is to build a community of innovation, powered by the most advanced technologies and supported by our expertise.”

The new engineering facility includes:
• Sports performance wind tunnel optimised for cycling, winter and para sports.
• Fabric development wind tunnel enabling highly controlled and repeatable testing of fabrics, the area that has seen some of the biggest performance gains in recent years.
• 3D scanning – The latest 3D scanning tools can capture athlete and equipment dimensions for CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modelling
• Bike efficiency rig – The rig uses robots to ‘ride’ the bike and represents a generational leap in the realistic, accurate and repeatable testing of frames and components

Heart of Britain’s F1-belt

Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub is located in Silverstone Park, which is already home to over 70 companies and lies at the heart of Britain’s ‘F1-belt’. According to TotalSim this region “Is home to nearly every F1-team on the grid and their many specialist suppliers, creating an exceptionally high density of engineering skill. As well as offering leading R&D facilities, the Hub puts all of this expertise on the doorstep of the brands which take up residence.
“We are aiming for this to be the best R&D centre for sport in the country,” comments TotalSim-MD Rob Lewis, “what’s more, it’s going to be affordable to companies that previously could only dream of carrying out R&D at this level. We’re inviting professional teams, bike brands and clothing manufacturers to make the most of facilities that until now we know have been the preserve of only the best funded national federations.”

Flexible operations

Broadening the appeal even further, the Hub’s facilities will be available with as much or as little technical support as the client needs. According to project team leader Jon Paton “We’re aware that every company has its own requirements and existing expertise. For those entirely new to using a wind tunnel, we can provide an aero engineer to run the testing and analyse the data. Alternatively, there will only be a technician to operate the wind tunnel and the client can run the testing. Beyond that, we will offer training to clients so that they can operate the tunnel themselves. This will offer the best value to clients based on site and also the most peace of mind for clients running highly secretive projects.” More at www.silverstonesportshub.co.uk

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