5 minutes with… Pim van Baarsen, CEO, Silverstone Technology Cluster
How long have you been in the industry?
Nearly 20 years now. I moved to the UK from the Netherlands permanently in September 2000 to start the journey which I am still on, and very much loving, now.
How would you describe your typical day?
Current situation excepted, no two days are the same. I am either meeting members, potential members, support organisations or running, or speaking at, events if I am not linking up businesses for mutual benefit, so it varies a lot, which is great. I’ve never spent as much time behind my desk as I am doing these days! Still doing pretty much the same thing, but now virtually where possible.
What, if anything keeps you up at night?
At the moment, it’s the uncertainty in the world, of course. These are uncertain times for many businesses, and we are liaising with our members to help and support them where we can. So making sure we can help companies and point them in the right direction for solutions they may need is at the forefront of my mind. On a more personal note, if I’ve watched a particularly interesting sci-fi film or programme, I can’t sleep either as I am just so excited about what lies ahead!
What do you think will be the biggest difference/s in technology over the next 5 years?
At the STC, we actually have a number of Special Interest Groups that looks at this for different areas like automotive/mobility, manufacturing and wearable tech to name just a few, and there is no doubt that femtech, efficient power generation (including in cars) will see huge advances, but also in the field of (manufacturing) automation and streamlining we will see significant leaps, especially as there are “DIY” technologies available that are accessible for SME’s. In a socially-distanced work-environment this is more important than ever. We also have a group on AI and Machine Learning and we will see huge strides in this area without a doubt. Some of the stuff they can already do is amazing! Beyond five years quantum tech will come in as some of the presentations in our group on Design, Simulation and Metrology indicate and this is hugely exciting as well.
What are STC’s main aims/initiatives planned over that period?
So we exist to support advanced engineering, electronics and software businesses in the geographical area surrounding Silverstone (roughly an hour’s driving time radius), and so that’s what we will continue to do. We run networking events, do webinar briefings, have a forum for information sharing and lots of other tools to bring people together and encourage them to collaborate, as well as help them with business growth issues like marketing and business strategy. As our cluster is multi-sectorial (not limited to motorsport as some people initially think), we also look at opening up new markets for people and run events and programmes to help companies enter new sectors or countries. All this and more is on our agenda now and will be for the next 5 years for sure. I believe that collaboration to achieve effective solutions is more important now than ever before, and we are here to help with that in any way we can.
Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) will be sponsoring Advanced Engineering’s VIP lounge, alongside the STC Innovation Zone this 4 & 5 of November at the NEC. Read more
About Pim van Baarsen, CEO, Silverstone Technology Cluster
Pim joined the Motorsport Industry Association after completing a Master’s degree in business studies. During his time there he was presented with the AIM Young Business Person of the Year award for his efforts in helping the organisation grow. He subsequently joined transmission specialists Xtrac where he oversaw their sportscar activities. After two years there he was invited to join Haymarket as Group Marketing Manager. In 2010, Pim co-founded CMA Marketing, a marketing agency specialising in technical B2B marketing. In December 2016 Pim was asked to head up the Silverstone Technology Cluster alongside his ongoing role in the agency.