"Underpinning the development of next-generation composite manufacturing processes to reduce cost, increase performance and improve sustainability."
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. Funding has been released to new partners though open calls for short feasibility studies to investigate high-risk and ambitious concepts, with the possibility for follow-on funding through longer-term (up to 3 years) Core Projects. The Hub has funded 10 Feasibility Studies and 3 Core Projects this year, with funding set aside to initiate up to 2 more Core Projects in Year 2.
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.