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Driving union with automotive sector in Austria

Posted on July 19th, 2017

Closer links were forged last night between automotive and motorsport industry sectors in the East Midlands and their counterparts in Austria.

The driving force behind the connection was a joint initiative between East Midlands Chamber and its strategic partner bmi regional.

Dozens of businesses from the Graz region of Austria and the East Midlands joined the Chamber and bmi regional at a networking dinner.

Bmi regional launched direct flights between Birmingham and Graz in March.

Graz is home to Projekt Spielberg – the headquarters of Red Bull’s motorsports operation, Austria’s F1 race, MotoGP and DTM – the European equivalent of British Touring Cars racing.

It is also home to the Styrian Autocluster ACstyria, which operates as a link between, industry, research and public institutions.

Currently the ACstyria Autocluster has around 250 partner companies with over 50,000 employees and generates an annual turnover of 15 billion euros.

In addition to the core area of automotive, the ACstyria Autocluster also promotes and links with aerospace businesses and rail systems to optimise synergy between the sectors.

Chamber Vice-President Rob Mayo welcomed everyone to the Automotive and Motorsport Delegation Dinner.

He told diners: “In Graz, we see a part of the world that in many ways looks similar to the East Midlands, and it’s exciting to have an evening where we can explore some of those similarities.

“The East Midlands is the spine of UK manufacturing and engineering, with more people employed in these sectors than anywhere else in the country.

“We’re home to some of the UK’s best known manufacturing names. With our larger original equipment manufacturers supported by an ecosystem of innovative supply-chain businesses, along with our world-leading universities, developing the technologies and practices that give us a competitive edge.

“The automotive sector is a key component in this, and all of the people sitting around the tables today make up a part of that ecosystem.

“We’re also living in an increasingly connected world, and – while it might not always feel like it politically – businesses recognise the importance of relationships locally, nationally and internationally.”

David Pearson, the Chamber’s Director of Partnerships and Membership Services, said: “It was a very productive dinner and most people commented on the similarity of the two regions, particularly in the industries of planes, trains and automobiles.

“There was a real buzz in the air and I feel sure that some business will be done between those present as a result of bringing these groups of people together. The recent introduction of the new bmi regional Birmingham-Graz route makes this so much more possible.”