Today, the OX, the world’s first flatpack vehicle did one of its longest ever drives to date – touring Cornwall. It’s designed to be a low-cost, all-terrain small truck that can be driven on and off-road to help remote communities in the likes of Africa to transport food, water, building supplies and people. The brainchild of Formula 1 and supercar designer Professor Gordon Murray and entrepreneur Sir Torquil Norman, it is truly innovative.
Which is why its visit to Cornwall is so fitting.
Cornwall is a region where forward-looking businesses are celebrated and next-generation thinking thrives. Its innovation and creativity lies behind its success in reinventing itself over and over again. Cornwall has always been made up of close-knit, supportive and hard-working communities; whilst they previously may have been connected by men who worked in the many tin mines, today the Superfast Fibre Broadband provides the backbone to creative tech or healthtech businesses who share ideas and knowledge, not only between themselves but also internationally. People choose to live, work and invest in the region as much for its resilience, opportunities and scope, as they do for its character and breathtaking landscape.
Knowing that the OX team can construct this ‘pop-up’ truck in less than 12 hours made me think of the great teams and impressive talent pool in Cornwall. We have internationally recognised academic and R&D institutions. Falmouth University is the UK’s number one Arts University, leading facility Duchy College gives students an unrivalled level of choice when it comes to learning about the land, and technical training courses hosted at Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd regularly attract international developers. Our people are what makes the region so special, coupled with an ecosystem unlike any other, we are a powerful force.
The OX was in Cornwall as it seeks to raise financial support for its upcoming trip to Africa. It is asking for money through a partnership with Crowdfunder, a Cornish business that today celebrated raising more than £40 million for projects around the UK. It is the country’s number one crowdfunding website and has helped more than 600,000 people to date – all out of a converted surf shop overlooking the sea in Newquay.
Crowdfunder is part of an energetic, flourishing tech sector that is filled with entrepreneurial drive and spirit. As a business, it is part of a successful industry that is gaining popularity and understanding, but remains fledgling (crowdfunding really became mainstream around 20 years ago). However, once again Cornwall was quick to embrace it. The region has had twice as many successful crowdfunding businesses than the UK average.
Companies here have their sights set on a global market and they have the people, skills and ambition to achieve it.
Cornwall is driving the pace of change.
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