Riccardo Paterni

International Management Conference In London. Introducing Motorsport as an inspiring and practical topic!

Motorsport: driving innovation and industry diversification

New knowledge development and knowledge sharing

presented at the International Academy of Management and Business’s Conference

On Friday September 28th at Regent’s University LONDON

London presentation


                                       Riccardo Paterni (Entrepreneur at Synergy Pathways) – presenter                                                                             
Dr Tim Angus (Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University)

with Gabriele Testi (Motorsport journalist)

Topic Abstract:

Motorsport is not simply a sport involving racing cars, it is a complex and far reaching industry generating many billions of US dollars of global turnover each year. It has deep historical roots that go back to the very beginning of the automotive industry,

Motorsport involves a wide international network of manufactures, related components sup- pliers, research & development activities, related paying fans (and in most cases paying dri- vers) and sponsors. These invest and leverage the global media system that for some of the championships has a strong global reach (for example Formula 1 Grand Prix are the most glo- bally followed sport taking second place only to the Soccer World Cups and the Olympics). Mo- torsport has a dimension that spreads from the local to the global in which many global automo- tive manufacturers are involved. It has a value chain that involves: constructors, participants, events, and the distribution and consumption of the sport. The total global yearly turnover for Motorsport as an industry is well above USD 50 billions (Henry et al, 2007) .

Motorsports integrated complexities are what makes it a unique business ecosystem which is similar in many respects to many other business ecosystems that might be encountered within various economic fields; such complexities are generated by many variables spanning techno- logical aspects to regulation, the management of high levels of dynamic know-how and the shaping-up, development and management of often far reaching business models.Motorsport requires, by default, an extremely dynamic constantly changing environment requiring a consistent focus on efficiency (relevant to financial, technological, infrastructural, organizational and highly skilled human resources management) and, at the same time, a marked and relentless focus on on-racing-track and commercial performance.

All of these characteristics make the Motorsport ecosystem a solid, concrete and at the same time continuously evolving laboratory of innovation: a laboratory in which innovation is identified and implemented in very pragmatic terms, for example, in terms of novel effective solutions to problems (racing tracks are nothing if not constant active practical and conceptual laboratories for these problems), novel products and services that are welcomed by markets. Innovation in motorsport goes well beyond the realm of technological innovation into innovation in knowledge generation, knowledge-transfer and new business models related to new industrial and commercial realities. Industry diversification, rooted in this new knowledge production , is a natural offspring of these industrial dynamics.

An additional characteristic that feeds this overall system, is the presence of specific motorsport industrial clusters (geographically comprised socio-economic networks that develop and implement new knowledge) that have been characterizing parts of the industry since its beginning and are still present today (e.g. the UK’s ‘Motorsport Valley and Italy’s ‘Motor Valley’). Motorsport and its related industrial and research & development activities has become a prime example of high level knowledge development ready to be shared among other applications and industries. We will present case studies (Costruzioni Meccaniche Novicrom, Ycom and McLaren Applied Technologies) that represent this concept from a knowledge perspective generating far reaching business development activities by leveraging upon the constant in- novation present within motorsport.

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This way McLaren and Williams are renovating the biomedical industry

These are the ways in which McLaren Advanced Technologies and Williams Engineering are renovating the biomedical industry by utilising F1 know-how. The journalist Gabriele Testi wrote this article for the Italian Edition of motorsport.com , I contributed to write it. These topics will be presented an elaborated in the book fasttrackinnovation.it .



Article (in Italian) Così McLaren e Williams stanno contribuendo a rinnovare l’industria biomedicale


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The Entrepreneurial Society and the Financial Capitalism one

Today, arguably more than ever, there is a lot of focus on novel ideas to feed start-up fast growth aims. All of this stimulates a stronger focus on effective entrepreneurship development. Increasingly, within our fast changing complex society, an entrepreneurial mindset, even an Entrepreneurial Society, is considered essential for people owning their company or working in one.

This article from the Harvard Business Review Blog states, arguably, on why there are still actual fundamental mismatches within the current societal and regulatory framework of rules and norms vs what is concretely needed for actual progress driven by widespread entrepreneurship.

Multiple ventures entrepreneur Richard Branson and one of its maxims

Multiple ventures entrepreneur Richard Branson and one of its maxims

In my opinion an Entrepreneurial Society, if we define it as a society in which any individual can take initiative to develop ideas in business for his/her own and a great social good, needs to be conceptually separated from the one relevant the the Financial Capitalism Society in which the idea is essentially developed ‘to make money out of money’ and basically unavoidably this has little to do with stimulating a concrete and innovative entrepreneurial spirit that nowadays is needed more than ever to improve many aspects of social and economic life by now widespread in similar fashions across the world.


Posted in: Innovation, Talent Development

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Is the Global Innovation Index actually measuring innovation?

The report relevant to the 2015 Global Index Innovation has been recently published and, as always, it is quite revealing of human, societal and economic trends that ease and stimulate the expression of new ideas and solutions freeing-up expressions of creativity and at the same time reducing or eliminating barriers to such expression.


There overall index is generated by innovation input factors and innovation output ones. They spread throughout an entire array of factors that directly or indirectly have the power to boost or restrain that expression of creativity.


First of all, in my opinion, it needs to be pointed out that what this index measures does not fully represent what concrete innovation is in itself (an expression of creativity that solves problems effectively and/or finds affirmation on markets); rather it seem to focus on identifying an overall ecosystem that fosters the conception and development of creativity almost as an end in itself. This is a perspective that in my opinion requires further debate involving people that in actual practical terms are on the frontline to solve problems, generate effective business opportunities and/or take advantage at best of them.

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The speed of change fuelled by innovation

No matter what kind change is happening around us, it is fuelled by many different sources: technological, business development, societal, overall economic and financial and certainly also regulatory. We need to become part of this flow of change by anticipating it, synchronising with it, stimulating it in order to benefit at best from the opportunities it generates (if we are able to look at it from many perspectives) and managing at best the solutions it requires.


The focus on innovation development and processes represents the power of the speed we need to reach. How to reach it depends from many of the different variables that fuel change itself, yet the a mindset shift and development often represents the key aspect to that speed of change we are  able to reach and handle. This article gives some interesting perspectives on these factors.

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Leveraging on Motorsport dynamics to better understand the ones of business today

When we talk about speed, change and complexities of business nowadays we are often puzzled by the many factors that affect the survival and development of small, midsize and large organisations. Technology, markets, finance, regulatory constraints, all of them represent at the same time challenges and opportunities for growth.

Motorsport, by its very nature, increasingly represents a powerful concentration and integrated mix of all of these aspects and variables: it requires a keen attention to how resources are managed in an effective and efficient way within constantly changing constraints. Motorsport is also a proper industry which turnover has been marking and marks billions of euros across the globe. In addition its research & development has a direct influence on many fields that go well beyond the intuitive one of the automotive: aerospace, energy, defence, medical, high-tech consumer goods represent additional sectors in which the applied research driven by companies directly related to Formula 1 such as McLaren Applied Technologies or Williams Advanced Engineering have an increasingly relevant influence.

Dr.Tim Angus, from University of Conventry, presenting at the University of Pisa International MBA

Dr.Tim Angus, from University of Conventry, presenting at the University of Pisa International MBA

Recently at the University of Pisa International MBA these aspects have been pointed out with a particular focus on the Motor Valley in the United Kingdom which represents a clustered and integrated source for such developing activities. I have invited Dr.Tim Angus, from the University of Covetry, to make a presentation on such topic and it has caught the attention of the MBA participants and Italian organisations alike operating in the field and related one. At this link an article from Motorsport.com reporting on such presentation (in Italian).

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Is innovation always incremental?

A recent study published on Organizational Science and pointed out on a Fast Company article by the title “Unexpected lessons about innovation from Formula One teams” stresses that even the fast paced changing Formula One world shows that effective innovation is the one implemented in an incremental way.


There are many factors that influence directly innovation in Formula One: regulations, technologies, financials boundaries, yet the drive to performance needs to be focused and streamlined and a study points out that the incremental application of original know-how is the most effective one. When we think about innovation (products or services solving problems or being effectively embraced by markets) we need to observe that tracing back its roots we realise that truly it is always an incremental process, a process that at times can be accelerated by technologies or fast developing know-how, yet central key roots remain set in place.

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Indexes and most innovative countries…


This is a well organised and meaningful infographic, yet, arguably one aspects could be missing within this tracking system (focusing on patents, trademarks and industrial design): there is a wide variety of innovation with concrete market relevance that is not tracked because of cultural and traditional traits that not focus on the formal parameters utilised. Is this the reason why there are countries that apparently should be much higher on this scale because of their evident history of creativity and are not? (Italy among some of them)

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The University of Pisa E-Team Squadra Corse & the International MBA

Within the Entrepreneurship module of the University of Pisa International MBA we have hosted the E-Team Squadra Corse presenting their path to development and growth of the project.

University of Pisa. The E-Team Squadra Corse and the International MBA

University of Pisa. The E-Team Squadra Corse and the International MBA

They are adopting a marked entrepreneurial approach to the development of the entire project. The project is by now featuring an organisational chart composed by more than 60 roles and this is quite unique in itself within the International Formula SAE  (Society of Automotive Engineers) program. The roles involve students belonging to technical, economics, organisational, marketing and communication fields . Their focus, competence and enthusiasm are contagious. INNOVATION is featured within many technical aspects as well as the organisational ones. Racing weekends are scheduled in July in Italy and August in Hungary. Stay tuned…

Posted in: Innovation, Talent Development

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Business and diversity… what do we have to still ponder about?…

A recent article on one of the major management magazines struck my attention “How to make a better business case for diversity. Diversity is good for business, but our supportive arguments need to better reflect the complexities of the benefits”

United we stand divided we don't

United we stand divided we don’t

In my opinion we continue ‘to ponder and debate’ over a business case for diversity because we are rooted into the false certainties of our own business realities. If we just embrace complexity and uncertainty (embrace them in order to progress and grow as individuals and – next step – in our business ventures) we realise that diversity is simply an opportunity of competitive advantage to speed-up the entire process. First of all we need to become aware of what diversity really means in its many forms; and this requires a tough skill: listening & observing with empathy…

Posted in: Talent Development

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