The National Composites Centre (NCC) played host to over 400 guests last week, as Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable officially unveiled an expansion to the tech and research hub worth £28 million.
Dr Cable met engineers and technicians while he toured the building, watching demonstrations of the new High Volume Manufacturing Composite Press and the SME support facilities.
During his visit the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said, “The National Composites Centre is leading the way in developing composites, the advanced materials which are crucial to Britain’s aerospace and automotive industries amongst others.”
He added: “Britain is historically very good at making scientific discoveries but not turning these ideas into businesses. The NCC is part of the network of Catapult Centres across the country that is helping us to do just that – providing skilled jobs and a stronger economy.”
“The NCC is leading the way in developing composites, the advanced materials which are crucial to Britain’s aerospace and automotive industries amongst others”
Since opening 3 years ago, 40 members have joined the NCC. A press release from the University of Bristol claims that ‘…around 50 new jobs’ will be created as a result of the expansion, with a further 30-50 within member organisations. You can see more about the NCC in the video below:
The funding for the NCC’s extension was provided by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), through Innovate UK and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and sees the centre double in size. Along with a bigger capacity for manufacturing composites, the extension also includes a ‘world-class’ training centre for vocational and higher-level skills development.
Opening day: Vince Cable officially unveiling the new NCC extension
Peter Chivers, NCC Chief Executive, said, “The NCC is ‘Building the Future for Composites’, we’re proud to be recognised as part of the #BuildingBritain campaign.
“The NCC is ‘Building the Future for Composites’”
“We have now installed the world’s largest openly accessible high rate manufacturing press for composites manufacturing. This press is only in its first week of factory trials, yet it’s already producing parts within just six minutes.”
He continued, “Our innovative small-scale workshop is a real jewel in the crown; the type of equipment here aligns to the needs of the UK SME supply chain. We have already assisted well over 100 SMEs and the new facility and future HVM Catapult investment will substantially enhance this offering.”
This extension to the NCC follows work with more than 100 companies and more than £14m of technology development work from industry in 2014 alone.