Lord Drayson visits School of Technology

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation Minister, has visited Oxford Brookes to meet some of the world's leading motorsport experts.

Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation Minister, has visited Oxford Brookes to meet some of the world’s leading motorsport experts.

Giving a keynote speech to the World Motorsport Symposium at the School of Technology, Wheatley, Lord Drayson urged delegates to think about ways they could combat climate change.

He argued that the most important factor in reaching climate change targets in the field of transport is through changing people’s attitudes.

“People need to be persuaded that their quality of life will be improved, not decline,” he said. “This is where motorsport can make such a difference.” He went on to stress that the allure of motor racing can help deliver innovations that make people feel good about driving their cars.

The two-day symposium was attended by engineers from some of the world’s leading motor companies, such as Porsche, Aston Martin and Cosworth Racing.

Having competed in Le Mans 2009 and being the team owner of Drayson Racing, Lord Drayson has many close ties with motorsport. “This industry is one area where for me politics and my personal life are in perfect alignment,” he said.

He spoke of how motorsport could have a wider impact on society. “It’s an industry that typifies the sectors that Britain is great at and can help the UK to succeed and prosper in the future.”

With 38,500 people employed full- or part-time in motorsport, including 25,000 engineers, he told listeners the industry could be a useful tool for rebalancing the UK economy.

Lord Drayson acknowledged that climate change is the biggest global challenge today.

The Minister went on to speak about green motoring, saying developed nations have only 40 years to adopt zero carbon personal transport to keep temperature rises below two degrees Celsius.

He urged members of the motorsport industry to be bold in making changes and to be the leaders in making it happen.


Lord Drayson is pictured with Denise Morrey, Dean of the School of Technology.