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6th February 2017, Bristol

NCC injects composites energy into Industrial Strategy

The National Composites Centre (NCC) has hosted the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Industry and Energy, Jesse Norman MP, from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Minister and his team were shown how the NCC is enabling UK growth through the application of composites in manufacturing. The visitors were given an overview of global composites opportunities, and predicted market growth, between now and 2030. The visit had a particular focus on the aerospace sector and its critical role in the manufacturing economy of the UK, including discussions on future prospects with NCC Member companies, Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

Emerging needs

“It’s great that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recognises that the UK is a powerhouse for advanced engineering and that some of the most progressive composites technology and manufacturing development is happening at the NCC. We value the opportunity to showcase how we support our industry partners,” said Alison Starr, NCC Executive Director Strategy & Business.

The NCC mission is to accelerate the growth of UK industrial output by enabling design and manufacturing enterprises to deliver winning solutions in the application of composites.

“We need to develop processes for high rate manufacturing to meet the emerging needs of automotive, as well as those of aerospace with their highly certified operational environment. Undertaking the process and product technology development here in the NCC helps to anchor and secure manufacturing in the UK. So working with all sectors to establish future supply chains to support UK growth, is also critical. We are also working with industry to produce the workforce of the future, through training and knowledge transfer.”

The Minister also met with the University of Bristol (UoB) to understand their key position as the world-leader in academic composites manufacturing research. The discussions focussed on how, together with the NCC, the UoB support the progression of technology from concept to commercialisation.

Opportunities of collaboration

Hamish McAlpine, University of Bristol Partnerships Manager said: “The NCC is a key part of how we can get our research out of the lab and into the factory, by scaling it up so it can be adopted by our industrial partners. The work we demonstrated to the Minister during this visit really highlighted the benefits of strong academic-Catapult partnerships.”

“We produce world-leading, industrially relevant research, and the NCC helps us to maximise its uptake by industry, for the benefit of everyone – be that through lighter, more efficient cars, safer structures, or the use of more sustainable materials.”

The tour concluded with discussions involving the benefits and opportunities of collaboration with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

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