Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), the America's Cup team driven by the eponymous Olympic champion, has teamed up with PA Consulting Group to launch a new Technical Innovation Group.
The BAR Technical Innovation Group (TIG) will bring together British design and technology expertise to contribute to this unique technical and sporting challenge.
PA brings extensive experience in developing and implementing a wide range of advanced technologies to the partnership, complementing BAR's design and engineering expertise.
The task of the TIG is to find advanced technologies, and develop them to provide a race winning edge to the team. The TIG will complement the existing design team with an external, world-class, multidisciplinary research and development group. It will allow the team to rapidly develop, prove and put new technologies into the field. The TIG will provide technological insight and manage innovative projects in areas such as human factors, sensing and telemetry, communications and mechanical efficiency.
BAR has a core of technical, design and engineering knowledge — but the broad sweep of modern scientific and technological advancement means that there will always be other opportunities.
The TIG will be governed by a steering group that will be chaired by PA's Dr. Phil White. There will be representatives from each of the TIG member companies, while BAR's Technical Director, Andy Claughton will represent the BAR team. The Steering Group will initiate and guide with PA embedded at the BAR design centre, supporting the main design team through the management and leadership of the TIG projects for the duration of the America's Cup campaign.
Alan Middleton, PA Consulting Group's Chief Executive Officer says: "The UK is a world leader in engineering and technological innovation. As an innovation, consulting and technology company itself, PA is proud to be contributing its insight and expertise to the challenge, working closely with the Ben Ainslie Racing team and other contributing companies."
BAR's Team Principal and Skipper Ben Ainslie commented: "We don't underestimate the challenge ahead of us, the America's Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, and over 162 years and 34 contests Britain has never won it. We are a first time challenger, and only one challenger has ever won it at the first attempt. So we are going to make a lot of history when we bring the Cup home, but we realise that we need all the help that we can get. That's why we have developed the Technology Innovation Group and why we are delighted to have PA Consulting Group on board."
The team says it is also delighted to be working with the UK government's GREAT Britain campaign to help attract the very best of British talent to the project, and to showcase British expertise overseas. Representatives from 20 world class British technology, design and engineering companies last week attended a forum on the TIG at the team's sailing base.