Composites – materials made from 2 or more different materials that, when combined, possess additional qualities such as extra strength or heat resistance – are among the most promising research and industrial developments in decades. Composites such as carbon fibre have propelled progress in the aerospace and automotive sectors, with UK companies such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce optimistic about the future of composites.
But the composites sector is still growing, often regarded as immature and, following severe historical outcomes to some UK businesses, further industry commitment is still uncertain.
Innovate UK and the US-based Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), under UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Funding for International Collaboration programme, have identified several priority areas of growth. In this competition, up to £1.7 million is available for international projects to develop disruptive technologies in the global composites market.
The competition will enable collaborative research and development projects between the UK and US within the composites sector that can produce a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be disruptive, involve a technological risk and reach large international markets.
Areas projects can focus on include:
- sheet moulding compounds reinforced with carbon fibre
- non-destructive testing tools for automotive manufacturing
- development of automotive grade carbon fibre-reinforced polymers
- closing the loop on automotive carbon fibre prepreg manufacturing scrap
Projects must involve a UK business and/or UK research and technology organisation, and must include a partnership with a US project team. Applicants must contact the Knowledge Transfer Network to be put in touch with a US project team.
- the competition opens on 29 May 2019 and the close date is at midday on 21 August 2019
- organisations of any size may apply
- total eligible project costs can be between £100,000 and £1 million, with a maximum grant of up to £300,000 for UK applicants
- an online briefing event will take place on 6 June 2019