UK Sport, the British equivalent of the performance side of the Irish Sports Council have extended a relationship with BAE Systems as its official research partner.
The partnership is worth around €1 million over the next four years and will see engineering teams working on projects that might be of assistance to Olympic bound athletes.
Just as importantly they will also help the company to attract staff and spark innovation in an area that is cutting edge but also very high profile.
Given the number of high end multi national companies operating in Ireland it is not beyond the realm of the possible to imagine that a similar partnership here would yield a positive return for sport and business.
In the first phase of the relationship over 20 sports and 140 athletes were able to benefit from the advantages of working with engineering research experts. This ranged from cycling to the winter Olympic sport of skeleton.
At that level of investment the benefit is spread thin but in a world of marginal gains making enormous difference it can be an important advantage and also be of real benefit to the partner.
Some of the projects currently under way include wind-tunnel experience for the GB Bobsleigh Team to improve their racing speed; and the development of a simulator for GB Taekwondo athletes which it is hoped will allow technique to be improved without risking an injury through repetitive impact.
“This partnership will continue to help us demonstrate how engineering can be applied in many different areas and encourage more young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths,” said Simon Howison, Engineering Projects Director at BAE Systems.