FIA Institute Approves Grants in 30 Countries

The FIA Foundation’s Motor Sport Safety Development Fund has approved grants for 48 safety and sustainability projects in 30 countries around the world. The Fund’s grant programme, managed by the FIA Institute, will distribute over €3 million in funding in 2011 to help these projects, which are being run by National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) covering every continent.

Specific projects cover the three main areas of the Fund’s grant programme, namely, Officials Safety Training, Facility Improvement and Young Driver Safety.

A number of Officials Safety Training projects will benefit from the FIA Institute’s Regional Training Provider scheme, where experienced ASNs that have met the Institute’s best practice requirements will be used to help train officials in other countries.

A project in Sri Lanka will develop and conduct practical and theoretical training for trainers and motor sport officials in safe conduct at motor sport events. Another project in India will seek to improve competency levels of officials by training trainers and officials in specific aspects relating to the safe conduct of international circuit events. These projects will be supported by the UK Motor Sport Association and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, both of which are Institute-approved Regional Training Providers.

As part of the Facility Improvement Programme, funding will help Lebanon to develop the first-ever FIA homologated facility in the country and will ensure that it meets best practice in terms of safety and commercial and environmental sustainability. Another grant will help Turkey enhance the safety and sustainability of an existing circuit near Izmit.

As part of the Young Driver Safety Programme, funding will help Syria to conduct an entry level training course for circuit and rally competitors, which will educate participants on the essential elements to successful and safe competition. In the Netherlands, a grant will help to create an elite development programme for karting, circuit and rally competitors and integrate safety activities within its academy structure.

Approved projects cover all of the Fund’s five global regions with recipients including ASNs from Singapore, Belgium, China, Costa Rica, Greece, Malta and USA, to name a few. Projects cover a diverse range from increasing the commercial and environmental sustainability for existing circuits to developing a train the trainer initiative and increasing driving proficiency.

Last year, the Fund implemented a relief policy that provides additional support to those countries classified by the World Bank as having low or middle income, offering funding of up to 70 per cent of the total project expenditure. A number of ASNs have taken advantage of the scheme this year with applications from these countries accounting for one third of all of those approved.

Compared to the last two years, there has also been a significant increase in the proportion of total applications that have been approved, from 32 per cent in 2008 to 62 per cent in 2009 and 70 per cent this year. It demonstrates the increase in the quality of applications and the improved commitment of ASNs to new safety and sustainability projects.

To help maintain the high quality of these projects, the Fund has decided to extend its funding period beyond its initially planned five-years and will continue to support activities that have a strong potential to leave a lasting legacy for motor sport safety.

The Motor Sport Safety Development Fund was created by the FIA Foundation in 2007 with the worldwide distribution of motor sport safety-related grants managed by the FIA Institute. The Fund’s resources were donated to the Foundation by the FIA as a result of the fine arising from the dispute between McLaren and Ferrari in the 2007 Formula One World Championship.