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New UK Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites

21 March 2011

The University of Nottingham is to lead a new 10m EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites.

Working with the Universities of Bristol, Cranfield and Manchester, and backed by leading companies in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors, the Centre will be a national leader for engineering research in the field of composite materials a critical technology that will help the UK to develop a low-carbon economy.

Funding over the next five years includes 4.9m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with a further 1.8m from eight industry partners: Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Luxfer, GKN, Airbus, Lotus, Caparo and Vestas.

The Centre will work closely with businesses on tackling major research challenges, with the aim of turning ideas into new products and processes ready for the marketplace. It has the backing of National Composites Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centres (TIC) which was also announced by the Government on March 17. The Centre will develop new processes to make the next generation of composites cheaper and quicker to manufacture, while increasing efficiency and sustainability.

Professor Andy Long of the University of Nottingham, the Director of the new Centre, said: ""We are delighted to be leading this exciting initiative. This will underpin our efforts to study and develop the next generation of composites manufacturing processes.

""We have assembled a world class team of academic and industry partners, which will develop fundamental manufacturing science with real industrial impact.""

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites will support emerging science in areas of strategic opportunity for manufacturing. They will feed new ideas and discoveries through to business and Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs), to open up new industries and markets in growth areas.

Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement at The University of Nottingham, said: ""We welcome the UK government's latest investments in our manufacturing infrastructure.

""This university plays a key role in driving the development of innovative high value products and processes and we look forward to helping drive future prosperity and sustainable business development.""

The Nottingham centre is one of nine announced by David Willetts, Universities and Science Minister. Each of the national centres will focus on an emerging area of science, helping generate the new ideas that will fuel growth.

Mr Willetts said: ""Partnerships between higher education and industry are increasingly essential drivers of innovation, opportunity and national prosperity. These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the high-tech manufacturing industries we need to secure sustainable growth.""






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