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The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) has been set up by the UK Government to help existing UK supply chains grow and achieve world-class standards, while encouraging major new suppliers to come and manufacture in England.
The Composites Innovation Cluster (CiC) has been awarded over £11million from the initiative as part of AMSCI Round two. The CiC will deliver 13 integrated-capability projects across 25 partners from Quarter one in 2013 and will aim to deliver a holistic supply-chain model, which will extend throughout the composites community.
The CiC project is led by Cytec Industrial Materials, based in Heanor, UK, and is partnered by Axillium and Composites UK in response to the demands of all UK industry sectors. This underlines the composite industry’s commitment to the UK’s advanced-manufacturing sector and economy. The CiC brings academics, suppliers, and primes together with the endorsement of the National Composites Centre. The aim is to support the delivery of a nationally connected network of composite-knowledge and technology providers to address the market failures facing composites for high-value manufacturing applications in the UK. Under the leadership of the partners, the project will be delivered by materials specialists, manufacturing and process businesses, and tooling and systems providers, all working with academic support from experts in the field.
£22million of joint funding from AMSCI and industry will support the creation and safeguarding of over 200 jobs and create £190million growth by addressing market failures which challenge the wider adoption of composites in the UK markets.
Market failures are the lack of availability of composites skills, training and experience within UK suppliers and primes; the development of new materials and formats for recyclable, high- performance composites; rapid processing and handling in the manufacturing cycle; and the high-volume, automated, rapid manufacturing and joining of composite structures. The CiC aims to meet the challenge by building an intelligent, sustainable, competitive and highly networked UK composites supply base which will enable the design and manufacture of lightweight vehicles, structures and devices.
As part of the CiC, NetComposites will be leading a project on high-performance biocomposites, and participating in a project on the high-volume manufacturing of thermoplastic composites.
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