Composites UK Looks Forward to 2013

05 February 2013

Composites UK have reported plans for 2013 to better support its membership and the wider UK composites industry through new initiatives and activities.

Dr Sue Halliwell, Operations Manager, is looking forward to the year ahead, “As a Trade Association, Composites UK continues to grow in size and stature, supported by a committed Board of Directors who work to ensure the Association represents the best interests of our members. In doing this we have developed our draft strategy for the next 2-3 years and will be consulting members on the detail at the AGM on 15th May this year. Key priorities for Composites UK remain our members, representation of our industry at various forums, improving industry to industry and industry to academic collaborations, and supporting training and education needs to enable the industry to grow and remain competitive. In doing this we are actively involved with many other trade associations and national bodies in the UK and overseas to ensure our members are aware of opportunities for business growth. Key strong partnerships include those with the National Composites Centre, Composites Skills Alliance, British Plastics Federation, and of course the Composites Engineering Show where we will have an even greater presence in 2013. Alongside the show will be our Annual Industry Awards Dinner on Tuesday 12th November and details for nominations to these prestigious awards will be available soon.”

In a busy programme of activities, Composites UK will focus events on dissemination of crucial industry information and growth-enabling support. For example, the Annual Conference on 15-16 May at NCC, Bristol, has a brand new format, taking the form of an Industry Briefing Day with day-2 looking at new opportunities for composites in various end-user sectors. Chris Little, Chairman, comments “We felt it was important to provide our members with an opportunity to gather as much important industry information in one event as possible – information that they can utilise within their own businesses to enable development and planning for the future. As usual the conference will provide excellent networking opportunities to make those new contacts, exchange ideas and drive the industry forward.”

In addition to a revised programme of events, details of which can be found on the Composites UK website, the Association is leading two major initiatives this year. SIMPLC aims at improving health and safety within the industry and supporting companies to achieve H&S requirements. Dr Paul Darby, H&S Director comments, “The industry needs to wake up to H&S requirements and as a trade body we are there to help. Many companies will be unaware that HSE now charges £164 per hour for every visit, so if an issue is discovered then this could work out very costly to a company. Composites UK can offer support in ensuring H&S procedures are in place to reduce this risk and signing up to SIMPLC is a step in this direction.”

Recycling and end-of-life issues have become a real and increasing concern for the industry as a whole. With this in mind, Composites UK worked with WRAP (Waste Resource Action Programme, government funded) during 2012 to develop the outline for a REAP (Resource Efficiency Action Plan). This 2 year programme is now underway and will lead eventually to a Sustainability Partnership for the UK Composites Industry, We urge anyone not already contributing to the work to contact us to get involved – this can involve anything from inputting data to the scoping work through to joining the Steering Group to determine the future focus of the project.

There are many other activities and initiatives in the pipeline and it promises to be a busy and exciting year for the Association and the industry as a whole. Composites UK looks forward to working more closely with our existing members and welcoming new member’s to the Association as the Industry continues to develop and grow.

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