03 February 2015
03 February 2015
UK manufacturer Cygnet Group and The University of Manchester’s School of Materials have secured funding for a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to advance the production of high-performance composite materials including carbon fibre, for use in the aerospace and automotive industries.
The two organisations will deliver an extensive programme of trials into new manufacturing techniques and materials, as well as developing new process machinery.
“This is a very exciting and significant partnership that forwards our ongoing commitment to lead the market in terms of new processing technology,” said Luke Vardy, Technical Director at Cygnet Group
“It gives us valuable access to the academia and expertise of the University’s School of Materials and The Northwest Composites Centre, which is one of the largest and most respected composites centres in the world”
“This sort of investment in new technology is vital to commercialise faster, more efficient and more cost-effective machinery and processes for what is an extremely fast-moving and ambitious industry.
“The fact that we are able to do this here is further testament of the strength and ingenuity of British manufacturing and its considerable influence in the world.”
Professor Walker, Commercial Director at the University’s School of Materials, said: “The partnership puts us on course to develop some highly innovative and marketable solutions for the manufacture of very complex textile composites, which will shape the way motor cars and aeroplanes are built in the future.
“The UK is formidably bright when it comes to invention and innovation, but has a poor track-record of translating ideas into commercial reality, especially when compared to the US for example, where inventions are four to five times more likely to be brought to market.
“Teaming up with Cygnet Group enables us to deliver value direct to industry by applying our research to create new technologies that can be commercialised. Our aim is to show how valuable the link between universities and industry can be, not only in shaping the future direction of the international composites market, but in accelerating the fortunes of British manufacturing.”
Interviews will begin later this month to select a recently qualified PhD graduate to lead detailed tests of new manufacturing techniques, parts and raw materials at Cygnet Group’s headquarters in Northwich.
She or he will work closely with the University under the supervision and support of Dr Richard Kennon and Professor Andrew Walker.
The partnership is part-funded by government organisation Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
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