By Claire West
London’s successful summer of sport has put UK firms in the box seat to win 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games projects worth as much as £250 million.
Prime Minister David Cameron is leading a trade mission of 58 companies to Brazil this week. Today, he brought British companies together with key decision-makers in Rio 2016 at a special summit on hosting sporting events. UK companies with concrete London 2012 expertise are keen to work together with Brazilian partners and share their Olympic expertise and lessons learned.
Already 22 British companies have won 36 contracts for 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, which together amount to over £70m.
Projects include urban and transport planning for nine World Cup host cities, the Olympic Park master plan design contract and communications and IT facilities. Transport for London is also working closely with Rio to share the experience it gained running London’s transport system during the 2012 Games and is actively working to develop this, with the potential for further investment in UK plc.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“This summer Britain set a new Olympic benchmark. We delivered London 2012 on time and under budget and showed the world that Britain has the skills, capacity, creativity and expertise to put on the greatest show on earth.
“Now we want to make sure we seize this unique opportunity to build on the close ties we have developed with Brazil as the next host nation, share our experiences and open the door for more British businesses.
“With UK companies already working closely with Rio 2016, winning contracts and building business links, we are in an ideal position to boost British business in Brazil from Rio 2016 and beyond.”
Britain wants to make the most of its experience as hosts of London 2012 to strengthen its relationship with Brazil and deliver an economic legacy for the UK. Already there have been 160 Olympic missions to and from Brazil on planning and delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, covering everything from transport to budget monitoring, sustainability to volunteering. No two adjacent host nations have worked so closely together.
London Organising Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games chairman Paul Deighton said:
“Thousands of British businesses and partners delivered a hugely successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. We have a close working relationship with Rio and will be having a full de-brief with them in November and sharing our experiences. Hosting the Games presents a huge opportunity for Brazil and British companies are well placed to maximise on London’s excellent reputation for delivery.”
Further World Cup and Olympic business won by British companies was announced today:
• Blue Cube (GB) Ltd, in partnership with Brazilian company NORA, has won the tender process to provide 64,000 seats for the Castelao stadium in Fortaleza which will be the first stadium to be completed for the 2014 FIFA world cup. Blue Cube has done extensive work in the UK, including the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Blue Cube Managing Director Russell Plant said:
“Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world, and is also one of the fastest growing major economies in the world. In the next 4 years it is also host to the 2 biggest sporting events on the planet, with numerous facilities either being newly constructed or renovated for these events. Being involved in Brazil will help our company expand its international profile, and gain further business opportunities in other countries due to the significance of the projects that we will be completing.”
• London 2012 velodrome structural engineers Useful Simple are opening an office in Rio in the next few weeks. The company hope that over the next few years this will create 15 new jobs in London and annual revenue of £1.5million.
Useful Simple Director Ed McCann said:
“We believe that economic story of the 21st century will be dominated by countries like Brazil which have so many of the earth’s key resources. We hope that we and others can play a small role in helping Brazil reach its full potential and in so doing secure our own future as individuals and as a business.”
• Vero MLA True Communications, a leading international sports marketing and communications agency, together with its Brazilian office, MLA TRUE Communications, has recently started working with UK company AECOM in Brazil. AECOM was the company behind the master plan design for the London Olympic Park and AECOM in Brazil is now working with a team of Brazilian and international professionals to develop the master plan for the Rio Olympic Park. VERO Communications, with its Brazilian sister agency, Approach, is helping AECOM to define its communications strategy in Brazil with local media delivery and showcasing the development of the project.
Vero MLA chief executive Mike Lee said:
“It is an honour to be working with AECOM, who are at the very heart of planning for the Olympic Park for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and are continuing to grow a strong business in Brazil. As a leading communications agency specialising in the business of sport, VERO has the experience and expertise to support AECOM on the ground in its media and stakeholder communications goals in Brazil. AECOM has a great story to tell and we are excited to be working with them to help communicate their innovation, skills and track record. There are some very exciting opportunities ahead for the city as a result of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and at VERO, we share some of this excitement having been part of the winning bid team and can now witness the dream become a reality.”
• The British Council are setting up a rugby development programme in São Paulo this month involving underprivileged communities. This comes as rugby is due to become an Olympic sport for the very first time at the Rio 2016 Games. Coaches from English Premiership Rugby will based in Brazil for 10 months and will work with at least 10,000 young Brazilians in 12 cities, helping to promote social development through team work and leadership, as well as raising the profile of the British sport of rugby.
British Council Sports Director in Brazil Guilherme Guimarães said:
"The objective of the Try Rugby São Paulo programme is not about identifying talents in the sport, but promoting social inclusion and disseminating a better understanding of rugby in Brazil. Rugby will be a part of the Olympic programme for the first time in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, so this is the ideal moment to launch a project like this.
• Touch Bionics, a provider of world-leading prosthetic technologies today announced the worldwide launch of their prosthetic innovations for people with missing fingers. The company based, in Scotland, were featured in the GREAT campaign to showcase the strength and innovation of the UK’s life sciences sector.
Touch Bionics CEO Ian Stevens said:
“The new finger development enables i-limb digits prostheses to be made smaller, lighter and more anatomically accurate, and therefore suitable for a wider population, such as those with smaller hands, or whose amputations are closer to the base of the fingers. The wrist-band unit provides the ability to build an i-limb digits prosthesis that has full wrist mobility and with easily interchangeable and rechargeable batteries.”