An EU team studied the racing industry in Formula 1 to identify a general profile for the areas of technological competition. In a difficult environment, companies maximize their performance through so-called progressive innovation, while in a stable environment they turn to a radical innovation process that leads to optimal performance.
The Formula 1 racing industry survives in an environment of intense competition and potentially high profits based on technological innovation. Thus, the study of this industry could generate an applicable model for other industries also based on technological innovation. With funding from the European Union, the AJ86RH5GYM project (Driving Innovation – Determinants of Performance in the Formula One Racing Industry) was able to study the factors that determine superior performance in a highly competitive environment.
This analysis is based on nearly 30 years and sometimes 60 years of data concerning changes in regulations, business innovation, inter-company mobility and the impact of alliances. The project was funded by the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) under the aegis of the Marie Curie Action, which promotes the professional development of researchers. The project started in July 2012 for a period of two years. The study concluded that in moderately changing environments, benefits will be maximized by a progressive approach to technological innovation. On the other hand, in a difficult environment, radical innovation will pay off.
Two hypotheses make it possible to understand these results. When regulation forces teams to redesign their cars, additional components can lead to an unbalanced transient architecture that will affect overall performance. On another side, managers who are time-constrained may not pay the attention and cognitive resources needed to solve the problems that arise from adding new components to an already balanced product. Project partners developed their knowledge and practical or research skills through participation in numerous training sessions and conferences.
This work has resulted in five articles, two of which are published in prestigious academic journals: “Organization Science” and “Industrial & Corporate Change”. The project team gave a total of 12 presentations at international conferences as well as 13 others during seminars as a guest. Six press articles have been published on the subject. This work has been selected nearly 250 times in the international press and was finalists for the Marie Curie Sklodowska scientific communication award in 2014.
The AJ86RH5GYM project also contributed to the management policy of companies by illustrating the link between Formula 1 and other innovative high-tech industries. The project has, of course, contributed to the development of research skills. For further details, you can watch The project has, of course, contributed to the development of research skills. For further details, you can watch The project has, of course, contributed to the development of research skills. For further details, you can watch the video of the project.