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21 September 2009 | PR 09/125

Pit-stop to heart-stop: Formula 1 meets life science innovators

Dr Daniele Zaccaria

Dr Daniele Zaccaria

Thursday 24th September: Sports Technology Institute, Loughborough University

Extreme heat, rapid acceleration, split second decision-making and severe dehydration make the Formula 1 racing driver the perfect subject for innovation and new developments in East Midlands’ bioscience and medicine.  On Thursday 24th September Dr Daniele Zaccaria, Team Physician for Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team will visit the Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute to talk about the mental and physical impact faced by grand prix drivers and how the latest research is uncovering new business opportunities.

Sports scientists, medical research companies and business advisers have been invited by the emda-funded East Midlands Healthcare and Bioscience iNet to hear first-hand from one of the world’s leading sports physicians. Dr Zaccaria, a consultant to FormulaMedicine (the most experienced sports science and medicine group in F1) knows how tough it can be in the cockpit, where temperatures can climb in excess of 70°C. Fluid loss of 7% during a race is not uncommon, straining the driver’s ability to concentrate and maintain hand-eye coordination. F1 drivers are athletes, carefully monitored and trained for their control of emotions, concentration levels, reaction time, and memory as well as their passion to win.

“Formula 1 driver preparation is different from many other sporting disciplines.” says Dr Zaccaria. “To date there are very few, if any, driver support staff that have raced in an F1 car or have first-hand experience of the psychological and physiological demands of this sport. This has implications on the understanding and delivery of appropriate driver support".

Professor Mike Caine of the Sports Technology Institute will help the audience of growing life science and medical firms to make the link between their products or product ideas and the needs in extreme sports such as F1.

"The Sports Technology Institute has numerous connections with world class sports associations, and is pleased to be able to act as a hub for East Midlands companies seeking to engage with global sporting goods brands and performance sport organisations."

This event brings Formula 1, the life science sector and Loughborough University expertise together for the first time – signifying the East Midlands’ strength in applied research and innovation. Dr Ian Barr, Director of the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet, believes this event will act as a catalyst for collaboration between the world of sport and life sciences.

“The East Midlands has a very strong international reputation in sports science and technology, Formula One motor racing and life science. Bringing people together from these fields is a great stimulus for new ideas that will help drive further innovations that build on the region’s strengths.”


For all media enquiries contact:  

Notes for Editors:

  • ‘What does it take to be a F1 Racing Driver?’: Thursday 24th September 2009
    Sports Technology Institute (STI), 1 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, LE11 3QF
    09:15 Registration - 12:45 Close
    Reservations: 0115 912 4337 / info@medilinkem.com
  • The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet helps people in the sector, particularly in East Midlands’ businesses and universities, to develop new technologies, processes, products and services in order to build a healthy economy.

    Innovation is a key strategic priority for East Midlands Development Agency (emda). Four sector specific Innovation Networks (iNets), including Healthcare and Bioscience, have been established to help turn innovative ideas in to business opportunities.

    The iNet concept was developed by emda and East Midlands Innovation (the Regional Science and Industry Council) to bring together businesses, colleges, universities, public sector representatives and individuals with a shared interest in a market or the technology that underpins it. 
    A key aim of iNet is to provide a sector-specific focus that enables organisations to exchange knowledge and form collaborations to exploit new ideas.
    The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet is based at BioCity in Nottingham, a renowned life science industry centre of excellence but it covers the whole region.
  • Medilink EM was established by emda in 2000 and formed a limited by Guarantee Company in February 2004.  Medilink EM is the networking organisation for the healthcare and bioscience sector in the East Midlands, encompassing medical technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.  Membership benefits include specific healthcare support in marketing, regulatory affairs, clinical evaluation and procurement, access to training and networking events, international conference and exhibition support, and use of sophisticated research tools. 

    Medilink EM’s diverse membership base includes large healthcare companies such as AstraZeneca in Loughborough, medium size companies including Pennine Healthcare in Derby and smaller companies like Hospital Aids in Northampton.  Membership is also drawn from the region’s broader healthcare community including service companies, the universities, and the NHS. 

    MedilinkEM is also part of a national network of similar organisations, Medilink UK, which is driving national healthcare strategy through its links with central government.
  • Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work.
    Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.
    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.
  • About emda: East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

    Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has:
    - Had a significant impact on the region’s economy
    - Generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs
    - Put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every
    £1 it spends
    - Produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year
    - A wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.

    emda is committed to supporting the region through the current downturn and has
    put in place a range of measures to provide real help during these challenging
    times.  Over the long term, emda’s aim is to deliver the 2006 Regional Economic Strategy (RES) by working in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations.  The RES highlights the themes of productivity, sustainability and equality and sets out key priorities until 2020 to ensure the vision for ‘a flourishing region’ can be achieved. 

    For more details visit www.emda.org.uk

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