The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites (CIMComp) was set up in June 2011 following funding of £5.2 million over 5 years awarded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) for the development of a national centre of excellence in fundamental research for composites manufacturing.
CIMComp underpins the development of next-generation composites manufacturing processes based on low cost, short cycle times, efficiency and sustainability. CIMComp is led by the University of Nottingham and involves four leading academic institutions in Composites Manufacture based at the Universities of Nottingham, Bristol, Cranfield and Manchester. Current activities involve 32 industrial partners and four Technology Centres, with a portfolio of 25 inter-related projects and an Industrial Doctoral Centre, with a total portfolio value of over £16 million; forming a key link in the UK Composites infrastructure strategy (Figure 1).
To date, CIMComp involves 12 Co-investigators, 29 Research Fellows, 40 PhD students, 6 EngD students, 1 Centre Manager and 1 Administrator. The Centre is currently collaborating with 23 industrial companies providing cash and in-kind contributions totalling £1.6 million. Further investment of £653k from EPSRC for outreach and National Centre activities has allowed related activity to remain a key priority for the Centre.
CIMComp is one of 16 Centres across the country funded by the EPSRC through the ‘Manufacturing the Future’ scheme. The mission is to maximise the impact of innovative research for the UK, support existing industries, and more importantly, open up new industries and markets in growth areas.
Figure 1. UK composites infrastructure strategy 2009-2014.