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Umeco presented its composites expertise at the official opening of the National Composites Centre

News International-French

28 Nov 2011

The company exhibited at the official opening of the National Composites Centre (NCC) on the Bristol & Bath Science Park near Bristol, UK on the 24th November in the presence of Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, the Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Umeco, a leading composites solutions provider, was one of the NCC initial members earlier this year and has a place on the NCC board with principal manufacturing and engineering companies Airbus, GKN, Rolls-Royce, Vestas and Agusta Westland. 


Umeco presented a number of exhibits to showcase the company’s expertise in the composites industry and its involvement in sectors such as automotive, aerospace and renewable energy. These included a Delta Motorsport E-4 Coupé electric car, a Ginetta F400 sportscar, the root section of a tidal turbine blade and a wing section. These exhibits demonstrated Umeco’s products, technology and expertise in areas such as Out-of Autoclave processing and body panel systems both crucial for the aerospace and automotive industries.


The 350 guests present at the opening were given a tour of the NCC’s fantastic facilities, and had the opportunity to look at the centres’ state-of-the-art machinery. It was a successful day which promises an exciting future for the NCC.


Jon Mabbitt, Managing Director of Umeco Composites Structural Materials said: “Yesterday’s opening was a resounding success and demonstrated the UK’s commitment to use the composites manufacturing industry as a key player in the UK’s economic growth. Research and Technology is a key strategic focus for Umeco. We strongly believe that our membership of the NCC will enable us to develop a close working relationship with world-leading manufacturers and UK academics to develop new technologies and bring them to market more expediently.”


Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the NCC said: “The NCC is a powerful national asset to maximise the potential of the industry.  It has something for all businesses involved in composites manufacture, across all industry sectors. I am delighted to have UMECO as one of our Tier 1 members and value their insightful and multi-sectoral contribution. I’m looking forward to working with them in the future.”


Advanced Composites Group (ACG) is a manufacturer of advanced composites materials and components. ACG specialises in the manufacture of high performance composite materials for a diverse range of industries such as motorsport, aerospace, marine, automotive, construction, wind energy and leisure sports. The main focus of the Group's business is the manufacture of prepregs for components and tooling. ACG has manufacturing operations in Heanor and Manchester in the UK, and Tulsa in the USA. The Group is managed from its head office in Heanor and employs around 400 world-wide.


Umeco,the parent company of UCSM and UCPM businesses, is an international provider of advanced composite materials primarily to the aerospace, defence, wind energy, recreation and automotive industries. Revenue from continuing operations to 31st March 2011 was £207.4 million, and these operations had 863 employees in manufacturing and distribution operations in the UK, Europe and the USA.


Umeco is managed through two continuing business streams:

– Structural Materials – development, manufacture and supply of advanced composite materials; and

– Process Materials – development, manufacture and supply of vacuum bagging materials.

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About the NCC

The NCC is located on Bristol & Bath Science Park and is hosted by the University of Bristol, with established links to world class composites research at Bristol and other UK Universities.


The NCC is part of the first Technology Innovation Centre – for high value manufacturing. The HVM TIC will provide an integrated capability and embrace all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing. It will draw on excellent university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies. This was the first of an elite network of Technology and Innovation Centres that are being established by the Technology Strategy Board with over £200m of Government investment overall.


The NCC’s mission is ‘To be an independent, open-access national centre that delivers world-class innovation in the design and rapid manufacture of composites and facilitates their widespread industrial exploitation.’

In November 2009 the Government launched the UK Composites Strategy. This highlighted the importance of composites to the future of UK manufacturing and the Government’s plans for ensuring that the UK has the means to succeed in intensely competitive global markets.


A key part of this strategy was the establishment of the National Composites Centre (NCC), which will bring together dynamic companies and enterprising academics to develop new technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products. The combination of academic and business strengths will speed progress from laboratory to design to factory and into products.


The NCC is a £25m investment supported by: the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (£12m); the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) (£4m); and £9m from the European Research Development Fund (ERDF).


About ERDF

ERDF Competitiveness in the South West has one objective - to increase the prosperity of the region through supporting enterprises and individuals to develop ideas and plans which contribute to increase productivity and competitiveness. This objective is supported by four operational objectives:

– Increasing the productivity of the region’s business base, through the promotion and support of innovation, research and development and the application of knowledge;

– Reduce intra-regional disparities through stimulating enterprise and accelerating business growth in those parts of the region lagging behind;

– To increase employment and enterprise in the region's most disadvantaged communities; and

– Protect and enhance the region's environmental assets and work towards developing a low carbon economy.