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The Hub currently comprises ten leading research groups working on composites manufacturing in the UK. The objective is to build and grow the national community in the design and manufacture of high performance composites. The Hub is led by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol and initially included four other Spokes: Cranfield University, Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, and the University of Southampton. The network expanded in 2017 / 2018 to include the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Cambridge and Brunel University, London.
Three new academic partners joined the Hub in April 2019 following a Feasibility Study call: the University of Sheffield, Ulster University and Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
Successful Feasibility Study leads will become Spokes through funding of major collaborative Core Projects.
Most recently, The University of Warwick joined the network in September 2019 through a second round of Hub funded Innovation Fellowships.
CIMComp completed an extensive capability mapping exercise of 20 academic institutions active in the field of composites manufacturing research, as of January 2015 (reviewed May 2017). This exercise provides a comprehensive overview of the UK composites manufacturing research activity, expertise and equipment for the academic sector.
Table 1 provides a quick capability map for UK academic institutions active in composites manufacturing research.
Table 2 details the areas of research activity for each of the UK institutions active in composites research.
An equipment register for 20 academic institutions has been collated using Kit-Catalogue and can be accessed via the following link: https://cimcompkit.nottingham.ac.uk
A login and password ID is required to access the site and this can be requested by contacting email@example.com
The academic team has a strong track record of collaboration with industrial partners, many of whom were consulted during the development of the Hub. This network is essential for delivering the pipeline of next generation technologies. The 2016 UK Composites Strategy has highlighted the requirements for push/pull technologies in order to 'deliver, develop and diversify', which will provide the means to respond to the forecast 160% and potential 700% growth of the industry over the next five and fifteen years respectively. Key to this strategy is the creation of the Composites Hub in order to push technologies through to the HVM Catapult Centres (NCC, AMRC, WMG and MTC) so that they can be developed through the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and exploited by UK industry.
To find out how to get involved, contact the Business Development Manager.
Key partners involved in creating and supporting this network are as follows:
Since the launch of the Hub in 2017, the number of industrial partners has increased to include the following companies:
As part of the Hub's commitment to train 121 PhD/EngD and 29 postdoctoral researchers of the 7 year period, an International Exchange Programme has been founded for all researchers funded through the Hub. Twenty-three leading international institutions across eleven countries have offered 3-month visits to share information and developments within the field. This will help to ensure that technologies and highly trained personnel are effectively integrated within academia, research institutes and industry in the future.
More information on the International Exchange Programme.