British State declines to Pick Winner! Shock
In the course of building Monoliner Colin Russell encountered the "Niche Vehicle Network", a branch of the Technology Support Board. This is a British State body tasked with promoting "Disruptive, low Carbon vehicle technology" that will reduce energy use and provide opportunities for British innovation and industry. Promotion, with money - around £1.4billion.
I'm pretty cynical around the British State, but we could tick every box on the first page of the bid blurb. Had to be worth a punt and the E-bike world championshiop is the obvious place to start. FFs are a definitive "Disruptive, low-carbon, vehicle technology" ask any large motorcycle or small car manufacturer - what's not to like?
The video at this link is the two-minute video that forms the main bid, in a sort of 'Dragons Den' pastiche - that we don't attend. The video is about answering their questions, not explaining any benefits, but there's some nice imagry in there, some not seen before. You want to know what Monoliner might look like? see here. The video was a favour by professionals over a weekend, thanks to Paul and Enas.
Why did we get turned down?
Usual lack of knowledge about FF's This site is (was) not known amongst the low carbon vehicle people. equally significantly the X-tracer success in the recent X-prize was unknown in the Niche Vehicle Network. There is no knowledge of FFs anywhere since the Quasar. Maybe some journalist could explain why that is.
A question was reasonably raised about the ability of two old geezers to run a race team (wot? us?) and it was noted we didn't live in Oxfordshire - as though this was some post-code event. But the real gem, one to remember and pass round, is that "After twenty years FF's aren't really very innovative".
Ok. That has implications for motorcycle manufacturers - I've also just been told by a Bristol University student that FFs are "too radical" for these delicate souls but it's an arguable point.
Until you see the winner of this particular bid round. It's a project to develop an E-power version of the Morgan sports car - that's the one with the unique (radical?) form of front suspension Morgan have been innovatively using since 1910.
I'm happy to admit that, after thirty years of contact with Innovation in England, I don't know how it works. But I'm pretty sure that no-one else does either.