Research into aerospace composites has received a 2 million boost from two separate projects via the Technology Strategy Board the Government funding body with a responsibility for stimulating innovation.
The first project, Intertex, was a proposal put forward by the NWAA composites commodity group and its members. The group is one of several commodity groups involved in the NWAA Aerospace Supply Chain Excellence Programmes (ASCE and ASCE 2), funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and European Regional Development Fund. Intertex aims to produce a step-change in the cost of composite manufacturing, and the project is worth 1.74m to the region over the next two years.
Led by the NWAA, the bid team included the North West Composites Centre, Aircelle Ltd, Trelleborg Offshore UK Ltd, Hyde Group, Sigmatex Ltd and Brookhouse Compsites Ltd. All team members are involved in ASCE 2. Half the funding will be given in the form of a grant from TSB, and half has been pledged in match-funding from the companies involved.
The second round of funding comes from I-Composites, a national project worth 10 million in total. The bidding team was led by technology giant GKN and includes the NWAA and ASCE 2 members Aircelle, Sigmatex, the Advanced Composites Group and Bentley Motors Ltd.
This project is worth 2.2m to the North West aerospace industry and is designed to achieve rapid and cost effective manufacture of high value products within composites. Again, the 50 per cent grant funding will also be matched by the companies involved. This means in total, more than 2m in grant funding will be heading to the North West.
Martin Wright, chief executive of the NWAA, said: Composites are a key part of the future of our sector, and I am delighted the NWAA has helped play a part in bringing this vital funding to the North West.
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