The EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub was launched in January 2017 and is a £10.3m investment to expand the national research effort towards delivering a step change in the production of polymer matrix composites, whilst training the next generation of composite engineers. The Hub is led by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol and initially includes 4 other Spokes; Imperial College London, Cranfield University, the University of Manchester and the University of Southampton. Supported by 4 HVM Catapult Centres and 18 leading companies from the composites sector, collectively offering a further £13m in support, the total portfolio is over £23m. This forms a key element in the UK’s composites manufacturing R&D strategy. The Hub builds on the solid foundations of CIMComp, the previously funded EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites, which was set up in June 2011 and ran for 5 years. The Hub aims to become the national centre of excellence in fundamental research for composites manufacturing.
The Future Composites Manufacturing Hub is one of 6 hubs funded by the EPSRC to draw together expertise from 17 universities and 200 industrial partners to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and take greater advantage of UK innovation. The mission is to increase collaboration between universities and industry, enabling more products to progress from research labs to market - boosting the UK economy.
The EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub is offering funding for feasibility studies to conduct research at TRL 1 to 3, to aid a fundamental stepchange in composites manufacturing technology within the UK. The feasibility study should examine a subject area that is ambitious and high risk, identifying key challenges and research questions not currently being addressed. This can include the development of new manufacturing technologies, analytical studies to develop a fundamental understanding of state-of-the-art processes, or the development of process modelling and optimisation techniques.
This call is open to all UK academics and is the primary mechanism for new academic collaborators to engage with the Hub. Successful applicants are expected to attract significant new industrial support for follow-on funding, which will form a strategic part of future Hub activities. Access to further Hub funding may be released if feasibility is demonstrated, with the potential for the lead institution to become a Spoke member. Awards at this stage are limited to £50,000 at 80% FEC, for up to a maximum of 6 months.More details
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