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2 November 2010 | PR 10/168

HRH The Duke of York visits Loughborough University

His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited Loughborough University today (2 November), in his role as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

The Duke’s first visit was to the University’s Sports Technology Institute where he saw research work being done by the £15m initiative to enhance innovation and enterprise in the sport and leisure sector.

The Institute is home to the Sports Technology Research Group which has established an international reputation for its work with global brands including Adidas, Callaway Golf, Canterbury of New Zealand, Dunlop, Head, New Balance, Nike, Reebok, Slazenger, Spalding, Speedo and Umbro on the design, simulation, testing and manufacture of sporting goods.

The Duke met with researchers and students at the Institute and viewed demonstrations of their work featuring robot rigs, which were analysing/modelling the mechanical properties of a golf club and football. He also saw their developments in advanced sports apparel and fitness equipment.

Dr Andy Harland of the Sports Technology Institute, said: “We are delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to the Sports Technology Institute.

“The University’s Sports Technology research group has a proud tradition of partnering sporting goods from around the globe. Historically we have worked with UK based companies and businesses in mainland Europe and the USA, and more recently we have been forging relationships with companies based in China, Japan and Taiwan and building research and enterprise partnerships in Singapore. The Sports Technology Institute is well placed to remain a preferred innovation partner to the world’s leading sporting goods manufacturers.”

His Royal Highness then went on to visit Intelligent Energy, which was formed in 2001 as a Loughborough University spin-out company, specialising in clean power systems. They developed the world’s first purpose-built fuel cell motorbike, the ENV.

After seeing the fuel cell systems being configured and tested, the Duke took a ride in their latest vehicle, a zero-emission fuel cell hybrid Black Cab, which will be used in London during the 2012 Olympics. The company also has a presence in the USA, Japan and India.

Dr Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy, said: “Intelligent Energy has reached a very exciting stage in the development of its clean power systems with the recent opening of Japanese and Indian offices. We are always proud to demonstrate how Intelligent Energy contributes to the commercialisation of clean technologies on an international stage; our partnership with the Suzuki Motor Corporation is a great example of this. Clearly, UK innovation is vital for international trade and to fully realise the genuine opportunities which now exist in the fast expanding clean technology sector.”

The Duke of York’s activities as UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment involve promotion of international trade and the attraction and retention of overseas investment. His role includes visits overseas in support of the UK’s market, sector, and inward investment priorities; leading trade missions; and conducting business-focused tours in the UK regions.

Peter Hogarth, International Trade Director for the East Midlands, said: “The Sports Technology Institute and Intelligent Energy are great examples of how a growing number of innovative East Midlands organisations are benefitting from international trade.

“Research has shown that companies that export are more resilient. Through international trade, companies can increase turnover and profitability and spread business risk. East Midlands companies have a lot to offer, and UK Trade & Investment can help them find the markets that can make the difference. “


For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 


Alice Oliver
COI News and PR East Midlands
T: 0115 852 435
E: alice.oliver@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. Pictures from the Duke’s visit to Loughborough University are available from COI News and PR East Midlands.

  2. UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that provides integrated support services for UK companies engaged in overseas trade and foreign enterprises seeking to locate in the UK. It brings together the work of teams in British embassies and FCO posts overseas and government departments across Whitehall. In England, international trade support is coordinated by nine International Trade Directors working in partnership with each Regional Development Agency.  UK Trade & Investment services are delivered locally through a network of International Trade Teams.  The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements for local delivery of services. For more information visit the web site www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk, call the East Midlands International hotline on 0845 052 4001 or email info@uktiem.co.uk

  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    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 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    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.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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