UK composites sector receives £10 million investment

The aim is to develop the next generation of composites technologies and train the people required to deliver those innovations.

The University of Nottingham has led the team that has secured £10.3 million in government funding for new research into pioneering composites. The University of Nottingham is the lead partner, and will receive the funds together with the University of Bristol. The National Composites Centre (NCC) are a project partner and are contributing a further £2.7 million.The funding given to the Universities of Nottingham and Bristol to anchor composites manufacturing research in the UK is for the Future Composites Manufacturing Hub (FCM Hub). The aim is to develop the next generation of composites technologies and train the people required to deliver those innovations. The grant which comes to support the FCM Hub has the target of delivering research outputs to enable “Moore’s law for composites," a doubling in production capability every two years for high performance polymer composites. The FCM Hub will also train the next generation of composites manufacturing engineers.

Peter Chivers (NCC CEO), says: “The funding is great news for the National Composites Centre, as we will be able to use excellent fundamental research from the FCM Hub and working with them and our industrial partners, transition it into commercial applications to maximize the value to the country. The research outputs developed in the FCM Hub, together with the additional NCC ‘Technology Accelerator Fund’ which will be a £1.3m investment over seven years, and a further £1.4m for Engineering Doctorate support, will ensure further extension of the pipeline for technology and workforce ready people.”

Professor Kevin Potter, University of Bristol lead academic says: “The EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub allows us to build on the extremely successful Centre for Innovative Manufacture in Composites’ five year program, which is just coming to an end. That program proved the enormous value of collaboration between universities, industry and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Building on that program and developing innovative ways of working together with long term funding will deliver great benefits to the UK economy.”