The Technology Strategy Board's Enabling Technologies Strategy 2012-2015[I] includes advanced materials as one of four technologies that "have a key role to play in helping business to develop high-value products and services to meet market needs across all economic sectors, and to generate significant growth in the UK". At the heart of this is a drive to produce advanced materials that are both lightweight and more sustainable whilst maintaining or improving performance for an equivalent cost. In this regard, biocomposites have an integral role to play.
The development and manufacture of advanced materials is also recognised as strategically important to the growth of UK Manufacturing in the Technology Strategy Board's High Value Manufacturing Strategy[II], and composite materials are included within this.
Advanced biocomposite materials will enable solutions for a growing market and will help companies meet societal challenges. Exploitation of these materials, with improved properties, will open up new market opportunities, particularly in applications where lightweighting and environmental performance are key considerations.
This joint report, commissioned by the Materials KTN and authored by NetComposites, describes current and emerging biocomposites and demonstrates that these materials are now starting to find applications across a wide range of industry sectors.