After leveraging manufacturing, the food and drinks industry and global exporters, the government has turned to motor racing as a way of showcasing the strength of British innovation. Innovation is GREAT is part of the wider GREAT Britain campaign, described as the government’s “most ambitious international marketing campaign ever” and reported to have delivered economic returns of £2.2bn for Britain since its launch in 2012. Well-known brands such as Tangle Teezer and Brompton Bikes have featured heavily in the campaign, and now motor racing brand McLaren has joined to showcase its technological contributions to the UK economy. Ron Dennis, CEO of McLaren Technology Group and chairman of McLaren Automotive, said the business is “synonymous” with technology and innovation around the world, so the tie in with the GREAT Britain campaign is a “natural fit”. “We’re proud to use the breadth and global reach of our storytelling capabilities, from our McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team to the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre which provided the unique setting for Tim Peak’s GREAT conversation, to help remind the world about the UK’s indomitable innovative spirit.” Astronaut Peake, who recently completed a six-month stint at the International Space Station after becoming the seventh UK-born person in space, has joined a discussion with McLaren Applied Technologies’ Carolin Hargrove and record-breaking sailor Hannah White about Britain’s innovative culture in the past, present and future. The conversations, broadcast through films, are available online and will soon move on to the importance of science, technology, education and maths (STEM) skills for the next generation. Commenting on partnership with motor racing business McLaren, GREAT campaign director Conrad Bird said: “Both McLaren and GREAT believe in and are proud to champion UK innovation to the rest of the world. “McLaren’s involvement in Formula 1 is an exciting way to get that important story across to a worldwide audience and they’re a good example of a company with a DNA of innovation leading the charge in applying their insights to innovate and solve important challenges.” The McLaren Formula 1 team is home to former championship winners Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Britain Button won the motor racing title in 2009, but has announced he will be taking a break from the sport next season.
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