Williams establish technical centre in Qatar 28 Oct 2009
Williams are to open the first Formula One-related technical centre outside of Europe in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar. The Williams Technology Centre (WTC) will be based at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) and will be tasked with developing F1 technologies for commercial application.
Initially it will focus on two such projects, both with clear commercial goals - the industrial application of large Magnetically Loaded Composite (MLC) flywheels and the advancement of Williams simulator know-how for competition and road car use.
The flywheel project will address their potential to store and release energy very quickly. Initial target markets include mass transit systems such as trains and trams. The development of new driver simulation technology will be aimed at road car training, safety and entertainment, as well as competition simulators for other motorsport series.
The WTC is expected to employ 20 staff, with a multi-million dollar R&D budget and a carefully projected revenue stream that will reward both Williams and QSTP, who are investing in the project and are already renowned for the research, development and commercialisation of new technologies by companies such as Shell and Microsoft.
It is perhaps outside of conventional practice for a Formula One team to move such activities out of Europe, but we have been very impressed with the fertile environment QSTP presents for research and development and the vision Her Highness Sheikha Mozah has for Qatar leading in the development of beneficial technologies, said team boss Frank Williams.
After detailed consideration, we've decided this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss, and we look forward to supporting the future of Williams F1 in part from the development and application of F1-inspired technologies to the wider world.
To celebrate the agreement, the QSTP identity will form a prominent part of Williams race livery for this weekends inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.