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Collaborate to innovate - identifying needs and challenges in composite materials

Posted on 13/09/2018

KTN is hosting a collaboration event on 14 November in Southampton to bring together end users, the composites industry and the chemical industry.

Composite materials – which combine two or more constituent materials with differing physical or chemical properties to produce a new material with its own distinct properties – have applications across a multitude of sectors.

The use of composite materials that are designed to combine light weight, durability and strength is now commonplace in the Aerospace and Automotive Sectors. There is also huge potential to increase upon the use of composite materials in the construction, marine, oil and gas, rail, renewable energy and defence sectors.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) recognises and appreciates the power of collaboration to drive innovation and growth. We are therefore organising a collaboration event on 14th November 2018 in Southampton where we will invite end users, the composites industry and the chemical industry to come together and look at needs and challenges in composite materials.

Opportunities for the chemical-using industries within composite materials

The chemicals sector is an essential component of the UK’s manufacturing industries, and plays a vital role in the development of composite materials. The Composites Leadership Forum (CLF) and the Chemistry Growth Partnership (CGP) have both identified the development of Composite Materials to be a priority and an opportunity. Indeed, the CLF Strategy states that increased collaboration with the chemicals sector is one of its Science and Technology Recommendations to unlock the growth in the sector.

In 2016 the CLF launched the UK Composites Strategy, representing an ongoing collaboration between Government and the composites industry to ensure that funding and support is available to aid growth in the UK composites industries. In the introduction to this strategy, Anna Soubry MP, Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise said:

“The UK has, from an early stage, been at the forefront of developing scientific research into new composite materials and technology. We now want to lead a further drive to develop the potential of composites into new sectors. This is an important technology that has huge potential for the future of high value manufacturing in the UK.”

In addition, KTN held a workshop to identify opportunities for the chemical-using industries within composite materials, and has published the findings of this workshop on behalf of the CGP in a report “Accelerating Innovations for Chemistry in Composites”.

Materials for Composites Collaboration Event, 14 November 2018, Southampton

This collaboration event will provide end users and the composites manufacturers with an opportunity to discuss what they need from the chemical industry, and allow the chemical industry to expand upon what they can offer to end users. There will be ample opportunities to connect with new collaborative partners through 1-2-1 speed networking sessions and by taking part in end user and chemical industry pitching sessions. This event, which is being supported by Composites UK, will also provide information on the latest funding opportunities that are relevant to composite materials.

You can find out more and register here.